In a bid to facilitate a smooth return for Nigerians abroad during the festive season, the Federal Government has issued a directive allowing entry for individuals with expired passports. The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) conveyed this decision in a letter dated December 22, 2023, signed by the Comptroller General, Wura-Ola Adepoju, and addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar.
The letter, transmitted through the Office of Assistant Comptroller General, Border Management, stated that Nigerians returning home should be admitted without hindrance, even if their passports have expired. The directive also extended to airlines, instructing them to permit boarding for passengers with expired Nigerian passports.
The communication further advised all Nigerian Embassies and High Commissions to publicize this directive widely. To ensure a seamless process, entry and exit points have been directed to open help desks specifically catering to Nigerians in this category. The letter emphasized that passport offices would reissue passports within a maximum of two weeks.
While the media aide to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alkasim Abdulkadir, could not confirm the receipt of the letter and was unavailable for comment, the NIS spokesperson, Dotun Aridegbe’s phone was unreachable at the time of inquiry.
Nevertheless, a reliable source within the NIS, choosing to remain anonymous, affirmed that this policy is not novel, as a similar directive was implemented by the Federal Government last year. The move is seen as a positive step to ease the travel process for Nigerians during the holiday season.