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



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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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Canada Revolutionizes Express Entry: Introduces Targeted Draws to Address Labour Shortages

Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, has recently announced the implementation of category-based selection draws for candidates applying through the Express Entry system.



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Canada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, has recently announced the implementation of category-based selection draws for candidates applying through the Express Entry system.

This new approach aims to prioritize individuals with strong French language skills and work experience in specific fields that are in high demand across the country.

Under the revised system, candidates who possess expertise in healthcare, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), trades such as carpentry, plumbing, and contracting, transportation, and agriculture and agri-food will receive preferential treatment in the selection process. These changes are expected to take effect later this summer to address the pressing need for skilled workers in various sectors across Canada.

Minister Fraser emphasized that these modifications to the Express Entry system are a crucial step towards meeting labor shortages reported by employers nationwide. By inviting more skilled professionals from targeted professions, Canada aims to support its economic growth while also fostering the vitality of French-speaking communities outside of Quebec.

The immigration minister highlighted the significance of immigration in alleviating labor shortages and enhancing the prominence of the French language within minority communities.

He stated, “Everywhere I go, I’ve heard loud and clear from employers across the country who are experiencing chronic labor shortages. These changes to the Express Entry system will ensure that they have the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed. We can also grow our economy and help businesses with labor shortages while also increasing the number of French-proficient candidates to help ensure the vitality of French-speaking communities.”

The introduction of category-based draws follows amendments made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in June 2022, granting the minister the authority to select immigrants based on specific characteristics aligned with Canada’s economic priorities. The categories were determined through extensive public consultation with provinces, territories, industry representatives, unions, employers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, and immigration researchers and practitioners.

To maintain transparency, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will provide annual reports to parliament detailing the categories selected, the rationale behind the choices, instructions for establishing each category, and the number of invitations issued for each category.

Express Entry, launched in 2015, is Canada’s system for managing applications under three economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Workers Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class. Candidates are evaluated based on various factors such as work experience, language proficiency, occupation, education, and more, using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Applicants with the highest CRS scores have the greatest likelihood of receiving an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.

In summary, Canada’s adoption of targeted category-based draws for Express Entry candidates reflects its commitment to addressing labor shortages, supporting economic growth, and bolstering French-speaking communities across the country. These changes aim to ensure a more responsive immigration system that aligns with Canada’s social and economic needs, while also attracting highly skilled individuals who can contribute to the country’s prosperous future.

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Nigeria’s Aviation Industry Records Significant Growth in Recent Years Despite Challenges




Nigeria’s aviation industry has recorded significant growth in recent years, with an increase in the number of aircraft, despite several challenges that have plagued the sector.

While maintaining a growth trajectory, reports reveal that the total number of aircraft in Nigeria has surged by 100% in 8 years, while the country’s number of airports has also increased significantly, currently numbering up to 40.

Speaking on the growth of Nigeria’s aviation sector, Director General and Chief Executive Officer NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu while speaking at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) National Aviation Conference (FNAC) with the theme: “Sustainability of the Aviation Industry In Nigeria”, stated that despite the challenges the industry has faced in recent years, ranging from regulatory, institutional and structural challenges, especially the breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic, aviation in Nigeria has so far been on a growth trajectory.

Mr. Nuhu further disclosed that when the Buhari administration came on board in 2015, there were only 34 Air Transport Licenses (ATL), but today, the number has increased to 73. He added that commercial certificates were just 196 but skyrocketed to 320 at present. Also, airstrips across the country had moved from 77 to 92, indicating an increase of 15 within the last 8 years.

Investors King understands that the aviation sector in Nigeria is one of the most rewarding for investors. The growing demand for aviation services in the country has encouraged many airlines to establish or plan to establish operations in Nigeria.

In 2022, the industry experienced a lot of developments as it worked to overcome various challenges it faced. A very notable development is the assent of the Civil Aviation Act 2022 by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The president stated that the implementation of the civil aviation act which is a critical aspect of ICAO will further strengthen the sector for improved safety.

Experts have disclosed that the adoption of the Civil Aviation Policy which centered on liberalization and Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives by the current administration had resulted in significant growth of the industry, including huge investments in the Nation Airports and has increased capacity of the airports and growth of the domestic airline industry.

They, therefore, emphasized that it is necessary for Nigeria’s aviation sector to remain sound, harmonized, and remain in compliance with the standards and recommended practices in the sector, noting that it is 100 percent regulated and Nigeria must comply with global practices.

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International Airfares Surge in Nigeria as IATA Exchange Rate Jumps 37.5%




Travelling by air from Nigeria to other parts of the world has become significantly more expensive in recent weeks as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has approved an exchange rate of N634/dollar for flight tickets sold in Nigeria.

This represents a 37.5% increase over the official exchange rate set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which is pegged at N461.06/dollar.

This latest increase in the IATA exchange rate has led to a corresponding rise in airfares on the Nigerian route, which is set to worsen the financial burden on travellers ahead of the peak summer travel season.

It has also compounded the existing problem of foreign airlines being unable to repatriate their ticket sale proceeds out of Nigeria, due to a shortage of dollars from the CBN.

To mitigate the impact of blocked funds, international airlines in Nigeria have reportedly closed their low-price ticket inventory, further pushing up airfares.

A few months ago, foreign airlines sold tickets at N444/dollar in line with the CBN official exchange rate. However, in recent weeks, the IATA has reviewed the exchange rate for ticket sale in Nigeria to N462/dollar, N551/dollar, N582/dollar, N610/dollar and currently N634/dollar, even though the CBN official exchange rate has remained around N461/dollar.

While IATA officials justified the exchange rate increases, saying they were in line with the spot rates the CBN has been selling foreign exchange to foreign airlines in Nigeria for the repatriation of their ticket sale proceeds, travellers are likely to feel the pinch of the rising airfares.

Despite the significant increases in the IATA exchange rate, the amount of trapped funds in Nigeria has yet to reduce, according to the report.

As the summer travel season approaches, it remains to be seen how the situation will evolve and whether alternative solutions will emerge to address the challenges facing the aviation industry in Nigeria.

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