Why passport applicants need letters from states of origin -NIS


The Nigerian Immigration Service has justified its decision to demand proof of state of origin from passport applicants.
It also clarified recent concerns surrounding the passport renewal process, stating that applicants are not obligated to travel to their states of origin before they can obtain the required indigenship documents.

The clarification comes in response to a tweet by X user, Tayo Oviosu, expressing frustration over the alleged requirement to obtain a letter from one’s state of origin for passport renewal.

Oviosu questioned the logic behind such a policy, particularly its practicality for individuals like himself who have limited ties to their states of origin.
Oviosu tweeted, “I gathered that now, to renew your passport, you need to get a letter from your state of origin showing that you are from there.
“What sort of stupid policy is this?

“So I should go to Edo State, which I have visited two or three times max, to get a document? How would they know I am from there? We create our own problems.”

In its response to Oviosu’s tweet, the Immigration Service acknowledged the concern and clarified that physical travel to one’s state of origin is not mandatory for obtaining the indigenship document.
Emphasizing the rationale behind the documentation requirements, the Immigration Service stated that every requirement is carefully considered and legally supported by government laws and policies.

The Service wrote, “First off, you do not necessarily need to go to your state of origin to get the ‘indigenship document.’
“We are aware that most states have liaison offices in other states. For example, Anambra state has liaison offices in Lagos (Eti-Osa) and Abuja (Asokoro).
“These offices are empowered to issue such documents.

“Having said this, every document that the Service requires passport applicants to produce/submit/upload was carefully thought through (not stupid) and backed by certain laws and policy documents approved by the Federal Government through our supervising ministry – in this case, the Ministry of Interior.

“It is quite important, especially based on certain intel that we have (but cannot disclose publicly), that anyone, a Nigerian of course, who wishes to obtain a Nigerian passport – a document of authority for identification and travel – must prove beyond reasonable doubt, that he/she is a Nigerian citizen.
“For your claim of being a Nigerian citizen to hold water, there has to be a document that ‘ties’ you to a local government (indigenous area) within the country.

“This document is what we request that applicants present to us, amongst others, to authenticate their claim of being a citizen.
“You may also want to read up on the particular part of the Nigerian Constitution that bothers on citizenship, for clarity, sir.
“So sir, we hope that with these few points of ours, we have been able to convince and not confuse you.”

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