Senate moves against passport racketeering abroad

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The Senate Wednesday mandated its Committees on Interior and Foreign Affairs to engage the ministers of both the Interior and Foreign Affairs Ministries, the Comptroller General of Immigration, and Ambassadors and Consular Officers on the need to immediately introduce measures to make it easy for  Nigerians abroad to renew their passports. 

The decision was reached amidst resolutions of the upper chamber after a motion titled: “Urgent need to remove the difficulty faced by Nigerians outside  the shores of Nigeria in renewing their passport” was considered during plenary. 

Sponsor of the motion, Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South), noted with utmost concern, the hardships faced by Nigerians in renewing their travel passport documents outside the shores of Nigeria.

The lawmaker said citizens worst hit by these unacceptable hardships are Nigerians in the United States of America, Canada, Italy, the Uk and Austria. 

Urhoghide noted that in the United States of America for example, there are only four centers (one in each of four states) where Nigerians can renew their passports.

The centres are: Washington DC; Atlanta; New York, and California. 

He lamented that: “Only four centers serve the whole of the United States is enough problem in itself until we have to consider the fact that Nigerians in the remaining forty six states in the US have to travel to the center closest to them, or sometimes to a center cheaper in monetary terms to access.”

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