The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has cautioned Nigerians to be wary of fraudulent officials while applying for their international passports. Aregbesola gave this warning while inaugurating a new passport office in Oyo Town, Oyo State. He stated that individuals who seek unreasonable means to obtain the passport are at risk of falling into the hands of fraudulent officers.
The Minister emphasized the importance of planning ahead of time to save oneself from avoidable delay when applying for the passport. He explained that the government intends to give citizens seamless access to the travel document by building more passport offices across the country. The new passport office in Oyo State was established to meet the increasing demands of applicants in the thirty-three local government areas of the state.
Aregbesola disclosed that the Nigerian Immigration Service is also set to clear the backlog of passport applications, which was partly caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. He further stated that the government is willing to partner with private entities to establish more passport offices and meet the growing demands of the document.
Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu, Chairman of Oyo Metropolitan Development Association, who traced the history of the passport office to 2016, promised that the community would continue to support the project. He also emphasized the role of traditional rulers in socio-economic development at the grassroots level.
Upon his arrival in Oyo Town, the Minister was welcomed by the quarter guard of the Nigeria Immigration Service and received by top officials of sister agencies, as well as indigenes and eminent personalities in the town.
By cautioning against passport fraud and inaugurating a new passport office in Oyo, the government is taking steps to ensure that citizens have access to the travel document without being subjected to unnecessary delay or fraudulent activities. Nigerians are advised to plan ahead of time and follow due process when applying for their passports