By Philomina Attah, Abuja.
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has directed passport offices across the country to work on Saturdays to clear backlog of passport applications.
The directive is contained in a statement issued the Service’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Tony Akuneme, in Abuja on Saturday.
Akuneme said that the Comptroller-General, Mr Isa Jere, who gave the directive also approved the deployment of the Passport Controller in Ekiti to Jigawa, while the one in Ondo was moved to the NIS Zonal Office in Ibadan.
The NIS spokesman stated that going forward, the CG would hold passport officers accountable for any acts of indiscipline by officers under their watch.
He added that the directive was to enable the Service reduce the backlog of passport applications, occasioned by the 2020 and 2021 COVID-19 lockdown.
“The C-G has directed that Passport Offices across the country, with high volume of pending applications, to work on Saturdays.
“The period for this exercise is expected to be every Saturday, commencing from Dec. 3, 2022 to Jan. 28, 2023, between the period of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“This is to enhance our service delivery to out esteemed clients.
“The Saturday preceding the Christmas and New Year holidays are exempted,” he said.
Akuneme said that passport offices, which fell within that category, should contact him by Monday for further details.
He reiterated the resolve of the C-G to make passport services available and stress-free to the travelling public, especially during the festive season.