The Senate on Wednesday, March 24, adopted a motion to end the hardship being faced by Nigerians abroad in obtaining and renewing their passports.
It, therefore, mandated its relevant committees to engage Ministers of Interior and Foreign Affairs, Comptroller General of Immigration and Nigeria’s foreign missions to introduce measures for Nigerians abroad to renew their passports without difficulty.
The decision followed the adoption of a motion at plenary on “Urgent need to remove the difficulty faced by Nigerians outside of the shores of Nigeria in renewing their passport”.
The sponsor of the motion, Sen. Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South), decried the hardships faced by Nigerians in renewing their passports abroad.
According to him, citizens worst hit by the challenge are Nigerians in the United States of America, Canada, Italy, the UK, South Africa and Austria.
Urhoghide noted that in the United States of America for example, there are only four centres where Nigerians could renew their passports.
The centres are Washington DC, Atlanta, New York and California.
He said due to the insufficient number of centres, many Nigerians spent several days on the road to the renewal centres from their places of residence.
According to him, this affects their jobs, finances and even the safety of life.
“All of the passport renewal applicants spend months trying to renew expired passports.
Read also: Senate begins Easter break, resumes April 13
“The only ones who get speedy attention are those that pay to the middlemen or directly to the embassy officials,” he said.
He decried the situation where Nigerians were made to be physically present at these renewal centres to be able to renew their passports.
“The reason given for requiring physical presence is that applicants need to be captured electronically for the new passport.
“This excuse is not tenable since fresh capturing should not be demanded of someone who already has his captured bio-data in the database,” Urhoghide said.
He further disclosed that “in some or all of the renewal centres, there exist middlemen who are either working with or for officials of the Nigerian embassies.
“This is especially true of renewal centres in the US and Italy, as videos of this practice are awash on social media.
“In all the cases, these middlemen are not Nigerians and demand for money from Nigerians to book for them a capture (interview) date with officials of the embassy.”
According to him, visa issuance, passport renewal and several other services rendered by the Nigerian embassies abroad have been turned into rackets by officials and their foreign partners who connive to make life unbearable for their kinsmen that they were employed to serve.
He warned that “unless urgent steps are taken now and decisively, everything we believe in as a nation and have worked for and continue to work to achieve will be undermined.
“Nigerians just cannot continue to treat fellow Nigerians that way, even foreigners should not be treated as such.”
The lawmaker observed that Nigerian embassy officials cannot feign ignorance of the hardships faced by Nigerians, the existence of middlemen and the inadequacy of the number of renewal centres.
“These were all deliberately created by embassies officials to oil the wheels of the passport/visa racketeering,” the senator said.
Join the conversation
Join the conversation
INVESTIGATION… How herdsmen crisis compounds woes of already deprived Ogun communities
Earlier in January, the Nigerian media space was awash with reports of violence between herders and farmers across the country....
Investigation… Inside Enugu markets where traders are choked by multiple taxes
In recent times, the world economy has developed tremendously and this is partly linked with activities of petty traders who...
SPECIAL REPORT: How flood-ravaged farmlands in Anambra threaten food production
Increased rainfall, as a result of climate change, has impacted negatively on many parts of the world. In Anambra State,...
INVESTIGATION… How NDDC spent N2bn on abandoned, non-existent road projects in Edo communities
In 2014, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) awarded 10 road projects worth over N2 billion in various communities in...
INVESTIGATION… Inside NDDC’s abandoned, poorly executed road projects dotting Abia communities (concluded)
In this concluding part, ARINZE CHIJIOKE discovers that apart from the Obohia-Ohuru-Aba Road, there are similar projects initiated by the NDDC in Abia State which...
Messi stars as Barca beat Bilbao to win Copa del Rey
Lionel Messi scored twice for Barcelona as they defeated Athletic Bilbao in the final of the Spanish Copa del Rey...
Chelsea end Man City’s quadruple hopes, through to FA Cup final
Chelsea have advanced to the final of the English FA Cup after beating Manchester City 1-0 in their semifinal clash...
Bayern respond to UCL exit with Bundesliga win over Wolfsburg
Bayern Munich bounced back from their defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday with a victory over Wolfsburg in a Bundesliga...
Championship leaders Norwich make instant return to Premier League
English Championship leaders, Norwich have won promotion back to the Premier League after Brentford and Swansea failed to win on...
FIFA Ranking: Super Falcons drop to 38th in world, stay first in Africa
Nigeria senior women’s football team, Super Falcons dropped a place in the latest FIFA World ranking released on Friday. The...
Latest Tech News
TechNigeria: A weekly digest of what went down in Nigeria’s tech space
Better tagged the week of the great debate following the Twitter’s choice to situate its African headquarters in Ghana. Some...
3 easy steps to repair your damaged PDF documents
If you are here because you are having issues with your PDF file, then you are in the right place!...
Elon Musk moves to manage paralysis with brain microchips. 2 other things and a trivia
This line-up of stories will help you discover the latest happenings around the tech world, today. 1. Elon Musk vows...
Nigerian innovation hubs make list of new AfriLabs members. 2 other things and a trivia
This line-up of stories will help you discover the latest happenings around the tech world, today. 1. Nigerian innovation hubs...
Nigeria’s ShortLet adapts AI to improve business model. 2 other things and a trivia
This line-up of stories will help you discover the latest happenings around the tech world, today. 1. Nigeria’s ShortLet adapts...
Nigeria’s ScholarX partners Airtel on new product. 2 other things and a trivia
This line-up of stories will help you discover the latest happenings around the tech world, today. 1. Nigeria’s ScholarX partners...