The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has explained the reasons behind Nigerians paying less to process passports in the North.
This comes after some Nigerians subjected the federal agency to massive backlash on social media saying that Nigerians in the south pay more to process the Nigerian passport than Nigerians in the north.
This explanation was given in a recent statement released by the Comptroller General of the agency, Isah Jere Idris, and it reads;
WE DON’T HAVE ANY DISCRIMINATORY PASSPORT CHARGES The attention of the Comptroller General Isah Jere Idris has been drawn to some stories about discriminatory Passport charges for Passport applicants in the North and South of the country.
The report is not only laughable but also very pedestrian. The Passports we issue are for Nigerians irrespective of where they live including those in the diaspora. What we do have are two Passport regimes that are running concurrently.
They are the electronic Passport and enhanced electronic Passport. The latter is an improvement of the former. It is a product of the latest technology in Passport issuance. It has improved security features, a polycarbonate data page and comes in three categories of 32-page five-year validity (N25,000), 64-page five- year (N35000) and 64-page ten-year validity (N70000).
It was unveiled sometime in 2019 & seven Passport Centres including Ikoyi, Abuja, Alausa, FESTAC, Port Harcourt, Kano & Gwagwalada were immediately migrated to the enhanced Passport regime then. Meanwhile, the electronic Passport is the usual one we have been issuing since the introduction of ePassport in 2007.
The fee chargeable range from N8750-N17800 depending on age of the applicant and category of Passport. At the moment, the Service is steadily migrating all its Passport Centres to the enhanced ePassport regime.
To this effect, all the Centres in South-South, South-West & South-East including our Desks in the UK&USA have been fully migrated to the enhanced regime. In the work plan, Centres in the North-West, North-East, Canada & others are getting ready for migration to the enhanced Passport regime very soon.
We therefore, like to reiterate that there is absolutely no discriminatory Passport fees anywhere on our platform. We advise those peddling such empty narrative to get educated by this clarification please.”