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Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Minister of Interior

FG resolves passport production crisis in U.S. as missions resume services

By Cecilia Ologunagba

New York, Nov. 20, 2023

The Federal Government has resolved the passport production crisis in the U.S. as the three Missions have resumed passport services.

According to a Public Notice posted in the Embassy of Nigeria Washington DC website, all passport applicants scheduled earlier for biometrics are expected to come to the Mission on Monday.

“This is to inform all passport applicants scheduled for biometric capture from Monday November 13th to Thursday November 16th have been rescheduled.

“It has been rescheduled to hold from Monday 20th to Wednesday 22nd, 2023. The affected applicants can come to the Embassy on any of the days.

“The change of schedule is due to the internet outrage experienced at the Embassy and we regret any inconveniences this might have caused.’’

Confirming this development, a source at the Embassy told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York on Sunday that the problem was resolved over the weekend.

“The system is back over the weekend. The experts worked tirelessly to resolve it and we are back.

“We fixed it yesterday (Saturday) and test run it. The system is back and all the centres are fine, both New York and Atlanta.

“The server  in DC is connected to Atlanta and New York  so whatever happens to our server affects other Missions.’’

The source, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that the problem was  internet- related, not a server issue, noting that  since the server is connected to the Embassy internet,  anything that happens to the internet disconnects the other centres as well.

According to the source, the experts in Nigeria worked with local ICT experts in the Embassy and they all worked together and they were able to fix it.

NAN reports that Nigeria has three Missions in the United States. They are the Consulates-General of Nigeria in New York and Atlanta, and the Embassy of Nigeria in Washington DC.

The embassy in Washington DC is the only passport production centre in the U.S., while the Consulates take biometrics in their Missions and take same to Washington DC for passport production.

The Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN) and its 20 partner organisations in New York had earlier, over the weekend, appealed to the Federal Government to provide passport production machines for Missions in Atlanta and New York.

“The New York Consulate has jurisdiction over the highest number of states and accepts the largest number of applicants from across the United States.

“It boggles the mind to understand why two passport printing machines are located in Washington with none in New York and in Atlanta,’’ the associations pondered in a statement.

The New York Jurisdiction comprises the 20 states of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Nebraska, Ohio and North Dakota.

Others are South Dakota, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont and Pennsylvania.

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