The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has commissioned the first of many Front Desk Offices in Alimosho Local Government Area, Lagos stressing that because of the number of applicants in the state, it needs no less than fourteen (14) more in the state.
According to statistics revealed by the minister, of the 200,000 applications on the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), no fewer than 100,000 applications come from Lagos State alone and this has caused congestion in the three passport offices in Ikeja, Ikoyi and Alausa.
The Minister however explained that the Front Desk Office is not a full fledged passport office nor is it a fast track centre as passports are not issued on a wait and get basis but a non judgemental processing centre where data can be processed before production of the booklet.
He said, “Alimosho front desk office is not a passport office, passport offices are fit states but this is the first ever passport front desk office. It will ease the congestion on that three passport offices, in Ikeja, Ikoyi and Alausa all in Lagos…”
Lagos needs 14 of these FDOs to make it easy for passport applicants to have the ease of having the passport.
“Aregbesola also explained that the passport document is the most important identification document anyone can produce anywhere in the world and so it is not issued carelessly, hence why it is not a wait and get document but a place where application is made and biometric data taken”.
Speaking earlier, the Comptroller General of the NIS said the service has spared no effort to open outlets to diversify processing of the passport document.
He said , ” The point is to decongest other Passport Offices and bring services to the largest local government in Nigeria. I want everyone to avail themselves to the FDO and to put up complaints wherever as we have service windows here.
“Do not use touts, this initiative is targeted at eliminating touting, extortion and other forms of racketeering at the passport offices. I wish to warn the touts and racketeers that the long arm of the law would reach them.He equally enjoined his staff to live above suspicion.
Among dignitaries that graced the occasion were the Senior Special Adviser, Sustainable Development Goals SDGs, Adejoke Orolope-Adefulire, Commissioner for Tourism, Art & Culture, Pharm. (Mrs.) Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, two traditional rulers both of Egbeda and Shasha, His Royal Majesty Oba Jimoh Hammed Orelope Laka and Onishaha of Shasha, Oba Babatunde Ogunronbi, Alimosho Local Government Area Chairman, Jelili Suliamon.
Earlier, the Minister in the company of the CGI and top officials commissioned and inspected the new Lagos State command Headquarters at Alagbon before they proceeded to Alimosho