House of Representatives yesterday proposed a 10-year renewal policy for the Nigerian international passport and urged the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, and the Nigerian Immigration Service to initiate measures aimed at reverting to the 10 years life span policy.
The resolution followed a motion on the ‘Need to Revisit the Policy of Renewal of the Nigerian Passport on a Five Yearly Basis’ sponsored by Hon. Samson Olugbemi:
In his lead debate, Olugbemi recalled that before the introduction of the electronic passport, the Nigerian passport had a five years validity period subject to revalidation for another five years only, adding it was an indication that Nigerian international passport had a life span of 10 years.
He hinted that the process of renewal of the old passport was very simple and efficient as it required mere stamping by an authorized immigration official.
The lawmaker said he was convinced that the 10 years lifespan of the passport sits very well with international best practices because countries issue travelling visas from 2 weeks to 10 years.
Olugbemi expressed concerned that the Nigeria Immigration Service, for reasons only known to it, decided to limit the validity of the new Nigerian passport to five years without any option of renewal, instead a new one wouldbe issued to the person.
He noted that the arbitrary change in policy was inflicting untold hardships and inconveniences to Nigerians at home and abroad;
The lawmaker informed the House that millions of Nigerians, who reside in countries where Nigerian passports cannot be procured due to absence of Nigerian embassy or consular office are stranded abroad because of the expiration of their passports.

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