Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and Irris Smart Technology Ltd say the unavailability of International passport booklets is due to the lack of foreign exchange from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to aid production abroad.
Speaking before an adhoc committee of the House of Representatives investigating the proposed domestication and processing of Nigerian international passport in Abuja on Tuesday, the Comptroller-General of the service, Mr Idris Jere, says the Service does not have access to the forex it generated.
He decried the absence of a producing factory in Nigeria, saying that the production of the passport booklets was done abroad.
READ ALSO: PDP Vice Chairman, Adagunodo, Dies In America
He added that the major seven components used for producing passports are sold in the international market and the assembly and production are done in Malaysia, making the process very dependent on foreign exchange.
Making his submission to the same committee, The Managing Director of the contracted company handling the passport production, Mr. Yinka Fisher, advanced the same reason, and accused the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting (NSPM) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of sabotaging their efforts at getting foreign exchange.
He also added that last year, his company delivered a record number of booklets to NISm about 1.9 million booklets. This year, for the first four months, he said the company had delivered nearly 800, 000 booklets, putting them on course for another record supply this year.