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Nigerian Passport Will Be Available In 774 LGAs And Issued Within 24hrs – Minister of Interior

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Nigerian International passport- Investors King

The Minister of Interior, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has disclosed that applicants would soon begin to get Nigerian passports within 24 hours.

In a statement issued recently, the minister said passports would be issued in each of the 774 local government areas in the country to reduce the problem of getting it.

Aregbesola stated this at the newly inaugurated Maitama Passport Express Centre.

He explained that the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Passport Express Centre, Maitama Abuja was established in partnership with the private sector to make passport Issuance more convenient and quick.

Aregbesola stated that the opening of the centre, which signified the inauguration of the Passport Issuance decentralisation policy of the administration, was the first of many more to be established in every local government area in Nigeria and designed to offer specialized services to Nigerians.

Aregbesola said, “MPEC is in response to the yearnings of the general public for the Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Immigration Service to devise additional ways that the passport Issuance process can be less stressful and more efficient. It is the future. The goal is to have a facility like this in every local government in the country.

“Every Nigerian has the right to a Nigerian passport and it is our responsibility to put it in the hands of anyone desirous of it within the shortest possible time, without stress. The passport should be available in maximum of 72 hours of a successful application. Where there are issues, the applicant must be notified within 48 hours.

“The commencement of the operations of this world-class facility will not only offer Nigerians services of convenience and pleasure by taking away the hitherto stress in the conventional passport offices, it will also afford Nigerians the opportunity of getting their passports within 24 hours, at the high premium service and 72 hours at the ordinary premium service, albeit with added value and a little bit of extra cost.”

The Comptroller-General of the NIS, Mr. Muhammad Babandede, said the inauguration of the express centre was a step towards solving the problems associated with passport administration.

Babandede also said the MPEC was established to provide expedite and guaranteed service for applicants willing to pay a premium for prompt and convenient service.

“The centre will be non-judgmental and has provision for large comfortable VIP lounge, refreshment, queue management system and other necessary facilities to ensure comfort and speedy delivery of quality service.

“This centre will have a dedicated National Identity Number (NIN), registration unit and cater to the complete passport issuance process from enrolment to production for only fresh and re-issue passport applications

“Other categories of passport applications including change of data, replacement of damaged, lost/stolen passport and others shall continue to be processed at the service headquarters and other approved passport issuing authorities,” he added.

The NIS boss said line with its statutory mandate, NIS last week posted out the entire staff of Amana Passport Office for negligence and complexity in passport administration.

He added that many of its officers were dismissed, de-ranked and some are facing disciplinary procedures for corrupt practices and loss of passport booklets.

The Managing Director, IRIS Smart Technologies Limited, Mr. Olayinka Fisher who conducted a tour of the centre’s facilities stated that the company had not taken over the job of Immigration, but would be providing all the facilities, quality ambience and other premium value added service to fast track the passport issuance process.

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Singapore Tops Passport Power Rankings, Overtakes European Rivals

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Singapore has reclaimed its position as the holder of the world’s most powerful passport, surpassing European countries such as France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

According to the Henley Passport Index, Singaporean citizens can now enjoy visa-free access to 195 destinations globally, placing the city-state at the top of the rankings.

The Henley Passport Index, which uses data from the International Air Transport Association, evaluates 199 passports and their access to 227 destinations.

The latest update sees Singapore leapfrogging previous leaders, with the European quartet and Japan now sharing second place.

In third place are Austria, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, South Korea, and Sweden, whose passport holders have visa-free access to 191 destinations.

This is the first time seven nations have occupied this spot together.

Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, emphasized the significance of passport strength in today’s globalized world.

“The ability to travel visa-free is more than convenience; it’s a powerful economic tool driving growth, fostering international cooperation, and attracting foreign investment.”

While Singapore rises, the United States continues its decline, now ranking eighth, a drop from its former position at the top alongside the UK a decade ago. The UK, meanwhile, has slipped to fourth place.

At the bottom of the list, Afghanistan remains the weakest passport, offering visa-free entry to just 26 destinations.

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Airline Stocks Tumble as Ryanair Cuts Summer Fare Forecast

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Ryanair’s announcement of a significant cut in summer fare expectations has sent ripples through the airline industry, causing stocks to fall sharply.

The no-frills airline reported a nearly 50% drop in profits for the quarter ending June 30, attributing the decline to lower passenger fares and frugal consumer behavior.

Ryanair’s profit before tax fell to €401 million, a stark contrast to the same period last year. This slump is primarily due to a 15% decrease in average passenger fares, as travelers continue to tighten their budgets amid ongoing economic uncertainties.

Chief Executive Michael O’Leary highlighted the shift in consumer behavior, noting that “fares are now moving materially lower than the prior year and pricing continues to deteriorate.”

The company’s previous forecast of stable fares has been revised, with expectations now set for a “materially lower” fare structure between July and September.

The announcement triggered a sell-off in airline stocks, with Ryanair’s share price plummeting by 17%.

Other airlines, including EasyJet and Wizz Air, also experienced declines, reflecting broader concerns about the industry’s financial health as customer spending contracts.

Experts are questioning whether the entire sector is facing a downturn, especially as consumers delay booking trips and opt for more budget-friendly options.

Despite the profit drop, Ryanair reported a slight increase in passenger numbers, which helped mitigate a more significant fall in overall revenue.

However, the airline emphasized that its summer performance heavily relies on last-minute bookings, particularly in August and September.

The trend of delayed bookings is partly due to the cost-of-living crisis, which continues to influence consumer spending habits.

This trend aligns with observations from other airlines like Jet2, which noted only modest price increases amid late bookings.

Ryanair’s struggles are compounded by external challenges such as air traffic control strikes and a global IT meltdown, which have led to delays and cancellations.

These issues have further dampened consumer confidence, potentially impacting last-minute booking numbers.

Moreover, Ryanair faces operational hurdles with aircraft deliveries. Boeing has warned that some 737 Max planes expected by next spring will be delayed until summer 2025, posing a threat to Ryanair’s capacity during peak travel periods.

The airline industry is grappling with the end of a post-pandemic boom in pricing, as evident from warnings by other carriers like Lufthansa and Air France-KLM.

As economic pressures mount, the sector must navigate a landscape of cautious consumer spending and logistical challenges.

Ryanair’s latest figures underscore the fragile nature of the current travel market, prompting airlines to reassess strategies to attract budget-conscious travelers while maintaining profitability.

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Max Air Flight Suffers Multiple Tyre Bursts, Passengers Safe

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Max Air

A Max Air flight carrying 119 passengers and six crew members from Yola to Abuja experienced a rare tyre malfunction during takeoff.

The Boeing 737, flight NGL1649, encountered an issue when four of its tyres burst, leading to an emergency halt on the runway.

The Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), Bimbo Olawumi Oladeji, confirmed the incident.

She stated that as the aircraft began its takeoff roll, a loud bang was heard, identified as the bursting of the rear gear tyres.

Initially, two tyres burst, and while attempting to taxi off the runway, the remaining two tyres also burst, leaving the aircraft disabled.

Glory be to God, no injuries were reported among the passengers or crew, thanks to the quick response and professionalism of the flight team.

A go-team, led by NSIB Director General Alex Badeh, is set to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident to determine the cause of the malfunction.

This investigation aims to ensure the continued safety and reliability of air travel in the region.

Max Air has expressed gratitude for the cooperation and calmness of all passengers during the incident and assured the public of their commitment to maintaining high safety standards.

The airline is working closely with authorities to address any potential issues and prevent future occurrences.

As investigations proceed, the aviation community remains focused on learning from the event to enhance safety protocols and maintain passenger confidence in air travel across Nigeria.

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