The Federal Government of Nigeria, through its Ministry of Interior, has announced that Nigerians living in the diaspora can now obtain their passports hassle-free through online application.

According to a statement released on the ministry’s official account on Saturday, said the development aims to eliminate the inconvenience of long queues and intermediaries that applicants often face.

The ministry did not provide clarification on whether the new enhancements would streamline the process of submitting biometrics, as citizens residing abroad could already apply for their passports online previously.

Meanwhile, Ridwan Adelaja, media aide to Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the Minister of Interior, suggested that the ministry had introduced a new system specifically tailored for citizens residing abroad.

“No cause for alarm. They will all be processed and produced duly. However, going forward, the new system is expected to be used,” Adelaja replied to an X user asking what would happen to applications scheduled with the “old system”.

Reacting to the development, social media users hailed the ministry for an improved speed in passport collection.

“My wife’s younger brother left Manchester very early on Monday morning to have his passport biometrics completed in London. He returned to Manchester the same day, and his passport arrived the following day (Tuesday),” an X user wrote.

Another post reads: “If nothing is working in Nigeria, you BTO is actually working. Friend of mine got his passport less than a week after biometrics in London”.

On January 8, the interior ministry announced the full automation of passport applications for Nigerians at home and in the diaspora.

Tunji-Ojo assured Nigerians that the automated system, when fully launched, would be digitally inclusive and ease passport application.

All citizens of Nigeria either by birth, descent, adoption, registration or naturalization, are eligible to possess a passport, provided they satisfy all conditions prescribed by law.

On the application portal, citizens abroad can apply for a fresh passport, renewal, data correction, pause applications, book appointments, and track applications.

Applicants can also test their passport photographs before final upload and processing.

Citizens requesting a passport from outside Nigeria will be required to fill out the application form and select a mission in the processing country.

They would then be required to choose a payment option and make payment, after which they would book an appointment for biometric enrolment.

Applicants also need to proceed with enrolment on the scheduled date and wait for a passport pick-up notification.

The minister of interior had said the fresh criteria introduced for passport applications are intended to stop foreigners from exploiting the system.

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