Automate passport and national identity card issuance abroad, according to FG representatives
Nigeria’s House of Representatives on Wednesday tasked President Muhammadu Buhari with fully automating the process of issuing passports and national identity cards across the world.
The resolution was adopted following the adoption of a motion sponsored by the Hon. Obinna Chidoka who expressed her grave concern over the various challenges facing Nigerians in the diaspora.
While calling for the intervention of the Chamber, he insisted on the need to rationalize the services rendered to Nigerians by embassies and commissions abroad, in order to reduce the incidence of physical attendance; reduce the waiting time for the issuance of a new passport and for renewals to a maximum of 10 working days or less and ensure that only legal fees are due for services through officially designated channels.
In his main debate, the Hon. Chidoka who observed that Nigerian embassies and high commissions are the flagship territories of the nation abroad and, as such, should project the best image of the pride of Nigeria and the best example of the values ââplaced on the citizens.
âThe Chamber also notes that embassies and high commissions are safe havens for Nigerians in the diaspora, whether they live abroad or travel abroad.
“The Chamber further notes the deplorable level of services rendered by Nigerian embassies and high commissions
globally to Nigerians, especially those in South Africa, UK and USA in the area of ââpassports, national ID card issuance, renewals and ancillary services.
“The Chamber is concerned that the treatment inflicted on Nigerian citizens abroad by officials of Nigerian embassies and high commissions has not only affected the lives and affairs of the citizens concerned, it has caused shame and shame on the image of Nigeria and the psyche of our nationals.
âThe Chamber is also concerned that there have been reports of extortion and fraudulent intimidation by officials of the Embassy and the High Commission in the past.
“The House further fears that unless urgent action is taken to end this trend permanently, the country’s embassies and high commissions will become a terror to the people they were created to serve.” .
“The House is determined to tackle this threat and bring relief to Nigerians living or traveling abroad, and to uplift the nation’s national pride in the knowledge that with simple automation most of these embarrassing problems can be solved. “, he underlined.
In an effort to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians living in the diaspora, lawmakers urged the Federal Home Office through the Nigerian Immigration Service, the National Identity Management Commission and others competent agencies to fully automate processes.
Lawmakers also urged the Federal Foreign Office to streamline the operations of the country’s embassies and high commissions for efficient service delivery to Nigerians abroad.
To that end, the House tasked the joint foreign affairs and diaspora committees to investigate the allegations and report back within two weeks for further legislation.
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