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Nigeria’s South Africa mission issued 10,341 passports in 14 months – Envoy

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Nigeria’s South Africa mission issued 10,341 passports in 14 months – Envoy

By Fortune Abang

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

Mr. Abdul Malik Ahmed, Consul General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, made this known in his speech during a public meeting with the Nigerian community on Sunday.

The mission’s consular jurisdiction covers six provinces of the country, including Gauteng, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga.

He said the office was the only passport processing center in southern Africa and one of Nigeria’s most crucial missions abroad.

“Between March 2020 and May 2021, the Mission issued 10,341 passports; To date, we have an order backlog of 3,946 pending production.

“This includes mobile responses in Cape Town, Durban, Lesotho and Namibia, there are 1,421 applicants awaiting data capture and the mission also has a total of 404 unclaimed passports.

“We therefore urge all those whose passports were processed between August 2020, until lot 6 pending, to come and collect their passports.

“To facilitate the provision of services on a first come, first served basis, these backlogs have been categorized into batches, pending from 6 to 22, depending on the timing of data entry,” he added.

Ahmed noted that applicants with very urgent passport needs and clear verifiable evidence received expedited processing by the consul general’s office.

He also said applicants were kept informed of the issuance of passports, by phone, email and other electronic means, as soon as the lots were produced for pickup.

The consul general noted the grievance from part of the community over the reintroduction of administration fees and fees for lost passports, explaining that the fees have been approved for collection by headquarters in Abuja.

“On this issue, the Mission could not unilaterally impose any charges without the approval or consent of Headquarters; the administration costs of R120 concern all the services rendered by the two missions.

“The decision was taken at a meeting of the two missions, to harmonize and standardize the consular and visa services rendered, to ensure that there were no disparities.”

The envoy said that between August 2020 and May 2021, a total of 484 passports were reported missing with reissue requests, noting criminal nuances and immigration rule violations associated with lost passport returns.

However, he assured the mission’s commitment to maintain standards, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and in order to achieve the objectives set.

“As was the practice in other missions, it was necessary to impose fines to deter people from committing such offenses, the option will be to send these losses back to Nigeria for processing.

“This will save booklets for genuine reissue requests and reduce the backlog and pressure on the mission.”

“We have received instructions for dealing with an embargo on lost cases, pending directives from headquarters.

“Our assumption of office coincided with the gradual return to normalcy, following the prolonged confinement from March to August 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite partial containment, the Mission has made efforts to meet the needs of Nigerians and other nationals. No wonder this mission is seen as the most effective and efficient passport post by headquarters in recent times, ”he said. (NAA)

(NAN)

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