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Nigeria’s mission in South Africa issues 10,341 passports in 15 months — Consul General

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Nigeria’s mission in South Africa issues 10,341 passports in 15 months — Consul General

By Oluwafunke Ishola

The Nigerian Consulate in Johannesburg said it issued a total of 10,341 passports to Nigerian citizens in South Africa between March 2020 and May 2021.

Hon. Malik Abdul, the consul general, revealed this in a statement obtained Tuesday by the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) from Johannesburg, South Africa.

He said the consulate had a backlog of 3,946 applications awaiting production, while 1,421 applicants had been scheduled for data entry.

The consul general said the mission had 404 unclaimed passports and advised anyone with passports being processed and pending from August 2020 to come and pick them up.

Abdul added that the consulate was working diligently to clear the entire backlog of lockdown requests induced by COVID-19, urging the public to be patient while the mission resolves the backlogs.

Regarding the reintroduction of administrative fees and fees for lost passports, Abdul said the step has been taken to harmonize and standardize consular services after approval from the Abuja Foreign Ministry.

NAN reports that the mission has increased the fee for lost passports from R1 500 to R 2000, and the administrative fee from R 120 for data capture.

“On this issue, the Mission could not unilaterally impose any charges without the approval or consent of Headquarters.

“The R120 administration fee is for all services rendered by the two missions,” he said.

According to the Nigerian envoy, the decision was taken to remove disparities in all consular services, noting that visa fees have also been harmonized.

Under penalty of penalty for lost passports, Abdul revealed that 484 Nigerian passports were reported missing at the mission between August 2020 and May 2021 with a request for reissue.

Abdul said it was discovered that there were criminal nuances and immigration rule violations associated with the “so-called” lost passport statements.

“In accordance with the practice in other missions, it was necessary to impose fines to deter people from committing such offenses.

“At such an astronomical rate of loss reports, the option will be to send those losses back to Nigeria for processing.

“This will save the booklet for real reissue requests and thus reduce the backlog and pressure on the Mission,” the envoy said.

Abdul revealed that the consulate had received an embargo directive on handling lost passports pending further instructions from headquarters.

The Consul General then accused certain Nigerian groups in South Africa of “peddling lies and outright lies” against the Mission and his person.

“These disgruntled elements went ahead to incite their Nigerian compatriots with the intention of sabotaging the mission.

“Moreover, a lie and often repeated lies constitute propaganda which can be misinterpreted by the gullible and the indiscriminate as the truth,” the Nigerian envoy said. (NAA)

(NAN)

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