Monday, August 15, 2011

Of the Nigerian Immigration Service, the e-Passport and its reissuance: my story

2013  UPDATE: Passports are now being reissued in many places other than Abuja. Ikoyi in Lagos, Port-Harcourt etc,  and in many Nigerian representations abroad. I understand the ABUJA-ONLY thing was to centralise all passport data.


Its been well over one week now that I got my electronic passport reissued in Abuja, Nigeria.  I needed to give some time before this blog, because I did not want it colored with personal sentiments. I always do this when I think something is important.  Give it time, think through it, and it gets clearer.

By the time I got ready to go to Nigeria for this passport, I had used up 5 Nigerian international passports and 2 ECOWAS Travel Certificates.  So I was on my 8th travel document.  For frequent travelers, you learn a bunch of lessons. Lessons related to travel.  The first is to know what the priority is: mainly to get to destination.  So you dont waste time, energy or sentiments on things and issues that do not have direct links to your destination.  The second is to keep a financial reserve.  As I tell many new travelers, there is no fixed amount for a plane ticket.  It is the same with a trip, you can never say exactly what the costs are until you get back and calculate. For starters, the ticket from Abidjan to Lagos cost  1088$ on ASky. 


I have come to prefer doing my passports in Umuahia.  That is my State capital.  So I go home, check in with my folks, and go to Umuahia.  If I am required to come back at a short notice or the next day, I can always do that at a short notice.  Inter-State travel in Nigeria does not go beyond 10$.  So I call the immigration office in Umuahia to say "my e-Passport has filled up and I need a new one". I got the response, "we are waiting for you, please buy us a handset when you are coming". I am like "Did they not hear there has been war in  Côte d'Ivoire?"

I log on to  http://www.immigration.gov.ng to check out information about re-issuance of passports. ABSOLUTELY no information.  How much does it cost? What is the process? Can someone do it on your behalf? Where can it be done?  Which form needs to be filled? What administrative papers are required?  How long does it take? No information, nothing! I ask online, someone tells me 15 000 Naira.  That is 100$.  I dont believe it.  Why? Because the first time issuance of the Passport costs less than 9000 Naira, which is like 60$. So why should re-issuance be more expensive.. anyway I tell myself that the cost wont go beyond that.

I get home and call again.  I am coming in on Monday to Umuahia.  Then the gentleman said "I think Tuesday is better". I call on Tuesday. "Ah, Aunty, it's like we now have to take the passport to Abuja and do it oo". Oh Yeah? Why was I not told this before. I ask how much the re-issuance itself costs "I don know, I have to find out". Good gracious me! I am speaking with an agent of the Nigerian Immigration Service and he has no clue about how much the fees for the re-issuance of a Nigerian passport costs?  My antennae go up.  Something is not smelling right.  The man offers to send someone to Abuja to do it for me.  I say no.

Abuja Day 1.

I get to the gate with my bag and the airline tag still hanging.  The Nigerian  Immigration Service (NIS) office is on the road to the airport.  Far from the city itself.  I arrive before the gates open.  In such things, I have learned to be there before time.  The guards at the gate  tell me the luggage is too big.  I keep it at the gate after the controls.  The man "kindly" handed me over to an Officer, who hands me over to another Officer.  They take me aside, assess what they call "my problem".  "Okay, we can help. When do you want to get the passport".  I said same day. "Do you know the price?" I said not exactly.  I too have been wondering but someone has told me 15K. "Mhmm.  For the kind of problem you have, you need between 30 and 40K" I smell a rip-off. I said no, thanks.  .

I go to queue up normally.  By now, I was decided to "go and renew my passport in a proper manner so I can get first hand information". I am told I need to go to "ACG" Office.  The door number is 316. I go there and I explain my mission.  I am told to write a letter to the "ACG". I ask, what does ACG mean?  The officer cannot explain.  Does he know? Or is he feeling I am being too inquisitive? Anyway I write the letter. I write on a plain A4 sheet, explaining I need a new Passport because the old one is full.   He says come back in 3 hours. I ask "Please can you explain the process, what is the next step after the ACG okays my request, how long does the whole thing last?" I dont get a reply

My brother calls me. "Do you have someone helping you?" I said no.  I dont get the process but it does not seem complicated.  He says "Girl, get someone fast".  I said I am not getting anybody. I should be able to fill any forms needed and make any payments. If I cant take care of the process of renewing my own passport in my own country at the official service point.. then I will feel like a challenged person.

My brother begins to make parallel arrangements. Apparently a lady working there is married to one of the guys from my village. I get calls, SMSes.  Where am I?  At what stage? Where exactly?   Why did I not say I was coming? Why do I want to do this all by myself? Why did I have to go and queue up in the first place?

Hang on!! What is happening here?

Anyway.. the lady says I should have told her even before beginning.  It would have made matters easier.  She takes me to one other lady. J Someone. It appears the request could have been made to the Comptroller General.. it is faster.  I sit in the waiting room.  I catch a wifi. NISWLAN1. 3 Hours later, I go back to door 316. I see my letter has been approved. What is the next step? "You need to go and make payment downstairs". Okay.  Let me have the approval so I can go make payment. "No, we cannot hand it over to you.  An officer needs to come and sign for it"

Haba! Shebi na me write the letter? Shebi na me dey renew passport? Abi na the Officer go pay the money?
I lose 1 hour waiting for an Officer to come and pick my approval. By this time, it was 1 PM.  I have spent 4 hours at the Immigration office.

The J Someone comes and takes the approval.  "My sister, we have to go and make payment". How much, I ask? "Give me 10 000.  The price is 9000 something.." If you like, you can go and pay in town, or I can pay for you here.  Now we are at the Passport Hall.  Only officers are entering. Four tents have been mounted outside.  Each tent sits around 100.  Each tent is full. People are standing.  I ask if the total cost is 10k. J Somebody says Yes. "But when the Passport comes out, you can now show appreciation".  I get the info. I hand 10K over to her. I find a place at the tent, I sit. I boot up my Netbook.  There is NISWLAN1 still here. Thank you Lord, for wifi.   I start to tweet. to update my Facebook status.  I am too mixed up to do real work. I  go for lunch.

And between 2PM and 6PM nothing happens. The only info is that my file is waiting to be "vetted" after which I will be photographed. I never got a receipt for the payment.

End of Day 1. I need to find a hotel in Abuja.  I hear the "Honourable Minister" is visiting Nigerian Immigration Service Headquarters the next day.  So work wont begin until 11 am.  I take a taxi, someone says to go to Area 1 or 2. I can get reasonable hotels there. Taxi fare, 2000, hotel 15000, without breakfast.

Day 2.

August 15, 2011



As at 12 noon. Minister was still at the headquarters. He was at the Passport area the time I got in.  He comes out to greet the people under the tents. The Director General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, a lady, says "Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the Honourable Minister of Interior" Some people clap.  I bring out my camera from my handbag. I take a photo. Two men sitting by me are angry. Hopping mad! A number of others were  mad too. Why wont the Minister  wait so we can ask questions?  Why will he just wave and say hello and go away? Others think he is humble.  At least he came to say hi to "Fellow Nigerians". I cannot tell whether the anger is directed at the Minister or just an expression of the frustration that people are having with the whole passport thing.

And frustrations there were! The man whose file was lost right at NIS office itself.  The boy whose file was being handled by an officer who just died, and nobody knew exactly how to help him. The people who were there the day before and were told to come back because the system crashed.  The guy from UK whose choice of interview date came out with 2012, the wrong year..The stories were many. 

All e-passport renewals from the whole wide world are now being done at headquarters!! So Nigerians all over have to come to this one office in Abuja. Questions!! Why is this information not online? How long is the process? Why are Nigerians being reduced to a helpless state, to the point where you need "help" from an Officer. What exactly does "Help" mean?  What is the Officer "helping" you with exactly. Why does Diaspora not have a separate handling? What are paper files STILL doing in the era of electronic Passports? Why cant information on the process of re-issuance and lost passports be made openly available and put online?  Why cant other NIS offices in the states renew filled ePassports?

On my part, I keep calling the Officer married to someone from my place.  I also keep calling the J Someone to find out when I will be photographed. I notice that there is a kind of selection at the NIS. People automatically "hire" Officers who speak their languages to "help" them. Since I dont live in Nigeria, I am astounded by the many officers speaking the many languages to their "clients". I hear all sorts of Nigerian languages.. my head is in a swirl. 

Finally, I get my photo taken. My mind asks, "Why will an Immigration Officer in Umuahia promise that he can get someone to come and get your passport re-issued in Abuja when the owner of the passport needs his or her photo taken?" The man who took my photo writes August 15 for pick up. The day was August 4th. My flight back to Abidjan from Lagos is August 7th which is a Sunday. The only other working day was August 5th, the next day.  I look at it and I ask the man "Is this date for real?".  He says "Yes Madam" and squeezes his face in a kind of knot that means "Please get out of my sight".

My mind is blown. I make calls and get calls. I get a call from a friend at the Ministry of External Affairs. A Diplomat, I had worked with him when he was on post in Geneva where I had an office.  I was to have dinner with him while I was in Abuja. He too says he knows someone who can help.  He begins to make calls too. I call J Someone. Now, I am visibly unhappy. And I began to see the possibility that I may not get the Passport on the Friday. "You have to see  Officer N, she is the only one who can help you". Where is this Officer N? " She is with Madam still accompanying the Minister. Just wait till she is back.  I dont know Officer N, and I sit.

Till 6 PM, when someone tells me, "Ah, Officer N just left".  I was the last  person to leave the tent that day!
I head back to the hotel. I pay another 15000 Naira for the night.

Day 3

It is Friday. My flight is Sunday.  There is no work on Saturday. I arrive early at the Immigration Service Headquarters. I sit before Passport Hall opens.  I am angry with the J Someone.  She says she is on her way. I ask and know who the Officer N is. I had decided it was useless leaving my fate in the hands of J Someone. And at this time,  the little tiny voice in my head was beginning to say "Maybe it was better to pay 30 or 40k on day 1".  I shut the voice up vigorously. I tell myself  "If you have come this far, sit it through.  The worst case is that someone picks up the passport on August 15 and sends it to you through DHL"

I speak with Officer N.  I explain that I will be leaving Abuja on that day. She looks at me, and asks me to come with her to the office. I feel that I dont need to be given a "VIP" treatment. But something tells me to just shut up. "When you woke up to pray and ask God for favour from men, this is it". She finds my file and assures me the passport is coming out same day. She will take the file herself to production room. Check me in 2 hours, she says. I send out text messages. I give Twitter and Facebook updates. I call my mother, to reassure her.

After 2 hours, I check on Officer N. She says she is yet to get up. Once she does, I can be rest assured.

I pick a taxi to town.  I need to get a ticket to Lagos. Can I leave this night? I check online.. tickets are now between 30 000 and 45 000 Naira.  That is 200 or 300$. I hear weekend flights from Abuja to Lagos are almost always full 3 days before. I begin to foresee road travel. I call a Road Transport Company.  Ticket is okay but departure is at 3PM. Passport is not coming out by then! I go to the Bank, I withdraw 20 000. At this time, I had about 40000 Naira in all.  I needed to pay the hotel if I was staying for the night and the "Thank you" thing..  Another  friend calls back, there is a flight to Lagos. Saturday morning. 29100 Naira. I ask him to pick it. I make out another check of 30 000 Naira for him.  I shut my eyes tight and I pray "Thank you Lord, for savings in my bank account". I get a confirmation for the flight.  I leave Saturday morning.

Friday afternoon in Abuja is another story. All the roads are cleared and all the mosques are full and  those who are not praying are heading down the airport. I pick a taxi from Area 8 to the Immigration Service, an air-conditioned one.  I needed to cool off! Price 4000, finally came down to 2500.

I get back to Immigration services. J Someone is smiling. I force a smile. Passport is ready.  An officer is needed to sign it off. J Someone does that. Then we look for those who will "cancel without prejudice" the preceding passport. I begin to give out envelopes.  To the lady whose husband is from my place, to J Someone, to Officer N. I send more texts.. call my mother... family at home in the East is rejoicing.. like the new passport is a kind of "arrival of a new baby". I feel sick, thoroughly sick.


I head back to the hotel. Room 310 has been given out to someone else since I did a check out in the morning. I get room 309.  The room is not as good as the first one, but since it was weekend, the hotel was giving out the rooms with 15% discount.  I did not really care..


All I wanted was to give myself the farthest  possible space from  the Nigerian Immigration Service, from Abuja, from Nigeria, from the electronic Passport, its issuance, re-issuance

My mind (the legal, intellectual me) and my heart (the sentimental optimistic me) begin a debate:

Heart of Nnenna: Na wa oo. Maybe you should have just paid 30 or 40K on day 1.
Mind of Nnenna: Nonsense, I would still be ignorant of the process and I will not be able to inform others
Heart of Nnenna: They shaa had good Nigerian food at "Mama" the restaurant area.  You enjoyed the food.
Mind of Nnenna: It was not free, I paid. I could have had the same anywhere else in Nigeria.
Heart of Nnenna: Do you recall when you were offered a free passport some time ago?
Mind of Nnenna: Yes, that was another country. I am a Nigerian. The Nigerian Passport is my right.
Heart of Nnenna: Na legalese and right go kill you. For this country na money dey talk
Mind of Nnenna: The country needs to move from a corrupt one to a competency one. I will do my part
Heart of Nnenna: How much has it cost you so far..
Mind of Nnenna: The cash is one thing, the authentic experience is another

That is why it took 10 days.. to write this blog!



172 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. What an experience. Thanks be to the most High that everything worked out. He sure does come through no matter how tough or thick things are. Our country needs prayers and help. I'm glad you had this experience so we can read and be informed. Thanks and God bless you and bless our mother land.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

You are welcome. We give thanks to God for the experience

lamikayty said...

Yikes...Thanks for waiting it out to inform the rest of us. Honestly short of starting all over again, I wonder how things will change in this country!

Anonymous said...

...After 10 years in the UK, I was eligible for UK passport this past September and with a passed UK test in the bag, voluntary work, BA Degree and MA on the way, no criminal record, good character reference - i was sure to get it, unfortunately got pulled for expired insurance which sits on my license for 3 years so I have to wait for that to clear before I apply for the UK passport. For travel,I have to get the epassport. I have my interview this month but for the exact experience you and everyone else have highlighted, I'd happily wait another 10 years than walk past a Nigerian embassy gate or have anything to do with that country (a lil exaggeration but it's really how I feel). Embarrassing for me to say it - yes, but NIgerians are one of the most hardworking, nice, respectful, smart people on this planet BUT WHAT ARE WE KNOWN FOR? Just being a 'Nigerian is the same as a kkk member, terrorist and i'm almost tempted to say paedophile - same cartegory, stay away. I applaud your loyalty and committment to play your part but i'll take a free Iraqi passport anyday just to get rid of that green i.d which currently ties me to Nigeria.

fainess said...

HI! Nnenna, you bog is very useful to me. I am Nigerian who live in South A Africa. I lost my e-passport when my hose was robbed. I have made concerted effort to get another pa passport but I was told I have to go to Abuja. I still ponder on the idea of traveling all the way to Nigeria, just to replace my passport, and i feel that it is even a harsher punishment from my country to the one I suffered in the hand of thieves. Who ever came up with this policy I think is so insensitive, otherwise how do you make someone to who already have a work and resident permit, to go to this unfriendly, SA embassy to look for Visa, after getting the new passport? to enable you return to the country. You know what, I think they deliberately create job for these Yoruba boys, who the ogas uses as agents.

Felix said...

Hw do you mean yoruba boys.tribal sentiments of this kind should be discourage.

Anthony said...

Good day,i got a Uk visa last month.But during the process of applying for Visa they rejected me and they said i should appeal.But along the Line i lost my passport which i use in applying for the Visa.So i reported and i did another passport.But after a month,i found the lost passport and then the Uk embassy now called me that my appeal was successful because i really lost hope that they are not going to give me the Visa again but my uncle wrote the appeal for me.The problem now is that i have to be given the Visa and it was stamped on the former passport i lost.But i went to the immigration office to laid down my complain and they told me that i have to attach the two passport then the old passport they wrote cancelled without prejudice.But my visa is in that visa they wrote cancelled without prejudice.But i hope it will not affect my traveling to Uk.please i will be glad if you can enlighten me more about this issue.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Anthony.

Holding two passports is okay. The "cancelled without prejudice" is all you need to do. The visa is still valid. Did they put "Previously held passport xxx" in the new one? This might be of help. It means that in the new passport, they will add the number of the old passport.

But over all, you should not have any issues. Like I said, I have used up lots of passports, with visas extending into newer passports.

When do you plan to be in the UK, I have a planned trip this summer.

adebola said...

I stumbled on this blog in the process of searching online to see if this NIC procedure has been changed. Nnenna I really feel what u went through cos I went through this trouble in 2009 when I wanted to change my DOB. I will even say u are lucky cos seems u re a bit influencial. I spent 4days in abuja and a family friend helped to get the passport when it was ready and it was sent to me in lagos. The nitemare now is that I am married and I need to change the passport again. I don't knw how to cope going to abuja again with my 3month old baby. I don't have a choice cos am relocating to the state. Why is everything so difficult in Nigeria?

tayor_snr81 said...

Thanks for sharing your experience with poor Nigerian like me. I am holding the new E passport issued to me in 2009 and i have just 6 months left on its validity period. As a student I will need to apply for reissue of my passport before my temporary resident permit to study will be renew here in Finland for next academic year. I called Nigeria embassy in Berlin, Rome, Paris and Madrid, to my utmost surprised the replied I got was that Nigeria embassies abroad have no right to reissue an e passport. I later discover that it is possible to apply for reissue in UK but I will need visa because I am studying in shengen state. I later find out that the reissue can also be done in Nigeria embassy in the Hague with the price tag of 300 euro + 65 dollar to NIS. My main concern is how Nigeria e passport will be even more hard to procure compare to America visa and the embassies official here are so arrogant. I am still looking for other options because that 300 euro is too much

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

tayor_snr81, I beg you. Even if the passport re-issuance costs 1000 Euros in the Hague.. please do it there. IF you set foot in Nigeria for the re-issuance, you are sure to need a budget 5 times that much. And tell you what, you will lose more than money. You will lose dignity, self-worth.. and if you are not careful, you will end up hating your fatherland..

T. Dot said...

I think I like this blog.
My question is that if I have to renew the Nigerian e-passport, how many months to its expiration date can I initiate the process of renewal? I have contacted someone back home in Nigeria who said I can't have it renewed until it is expired, but the office in New York made it clear that it is possible to renew within 6 months from the expiration date but I don't have visa for USA yet. I can't wait till it is expired because that will limit my movements. Can anyone offer any suggestion?

ayodot said...

Hi Nnenna,
I appreciate your blog and all the comments I have read.
My case is slightly different and I need some advice.
My epassport will expire in January 2013 and I currently live in the Caribbean where I can't get direct flight to Nigeria except through UK or Germany. However, I currently hold a UK visitor's visa which will expire in August. I want to renew this epassport so that I don't have any problem with my travels. Do you know how many months to the expiration date that I can be allowed to renew it? Is it possible to renew it in the UK since I am not residing there? Kindly give your word of advice on this. Thanks.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi T.Dot and ayodot. Renewal can be done at any Nigerian Consulate or Embassy. Now, the old version of the E-Passport is no longer being renewed. The current passport is the harmonized ECOWAS one. So if your passport has ECOWAS on the cover and still has empty pages, then you renew it. A passport has a 10-year life term. It means that after the initial 5 years, you can renew it once.

If your passport is neither the ECOWAS one and does not have pages, then you need a re-issue. As for visas, they do not expire even if the passport is full or expired. Once you process a new one, they will record the number of the older passport in the newer one.

So in the case you are getting a new one, make sure they write "Previously held passport A xxxxxx" on the new one.

In summary, you dont need to go to Nigeria for "Renewal", any consulate can do that. Re-issue, when there are no more empty pages is the one that has the wahala

Good luck and keep us informed

Anonymous said...

what a great experience indeed!Nice to meet u Nnenna.I was just planning to renew my passport and felt I shld find out online about d cost of renewing my. Ecowas passport that would expire in 6 months time.Pls I don't know how much it cost for renewal.pls any idea.Regards.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Anonymous, last I asked, an officer said "They have stopped delivering new ECOWAS travel certificates" The new digital passport is the one being used. Then another officer said it was possible. The price is around 6000 Nigerian Naira. Ask well and keep us posted.

Nnenna

Ijeoma said...

Thanks Nnenna, I have about one year plus remaining as the validity of my ecowas passport.I just got an admission for a two year masters programme. Can the embassy issue a two year visa on that passport? And what should I do when the passport expiry date is nearing?....thanks in anticipation of your reply.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Ijeoma. The total life span of a passport is not 5 but 10 years. As long as the passport has empty pages, it can be renewed after the initial 5-year term. So the embassy should not have a problem issuing a 2-year visa on it

Ijeoma said...

Thanks or ur response....I appreciate.

babsdegreat said...

Hi Nnena

just came across your blog. i came to the UK 2010 for masters. after which i applied for post study work visa march 2011. and just yesterday after making enquiry from the home office about the update of my application, they replied me that they cant trace my e passport that i should go to the nigerian embassy to make a new one. do i have to go to nigeria to make a new passport or will they be able to do it here in uk. thank you

babsdegreat said...

hi nnena,

the ukba just wrote me that they cant find and trace my epassport, which i used in making an application last year. they said i should make a new one and send it back to them. but it seems nigeria embassy in uk does not issue renewal for lost epassport. what do you advice. thank you

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi @Babsdegreat. There is something unsettling about the "cant trace ePassport" response. In my inquiries, it appears the reason the Nigerian government wanted all ePassport renewals and reissuances to be done in Abuja was specifically because some passports "could not be traced to the central database".

Without being too inquisitive, I will ask you how you got the first one? Did you get someone help from someone or was it done regularly?

Here is what I can say: "If the UK embassy can re-issue, fine. Do it in the UK, otherwise, start booking for Naija".

Whichever way, keep us informed.

Adetoyese Oyedun said...

Hi Nnena,
Thanks so much for the information on e-passport re-issuance.
My e-passport is full just 1-2 pages left and since I live in Hong Kong, Nigerian Consulate in Hong Kong does not have the facility to issue e-passport. I was told to travel to Malaysia for the re-issuance of the passport but what am not sure is if Nigerian embassy abroad can now do re-issuance of e-passport? I'm still trying to contact the embassy in Malaysia to find out but no luck yet.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Adetoyese. I will say unless you get "rock-solid" information from the Consul in KL himself or the PA, dont waste money going to Malaysia. It might be better to see if you have any way of getting to Nigeria. At least, you are certain you can do it in Abuja.

It will be really bad for you to get to Malaysia and be told it cant be done.. But keep us updated.

zahirali said...

Hello Nnenna,


I have this little situation I know very little about. I plan to apply for a US Visa, an M-1 Visa before july runs out, just as soon as i have my documents ready. The US government clearly state that any person applying for a US Visa must have a passport valid for AT LEAST 6 more months after intended period of stay. Problem is, my passport will expire on December 11 this year and I have to apply for the visa before august.

Is it possible for me to renew my passport before it actually expires? I do not want to be rejected a visa because of my passport's validity. Your knowledge will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog.
Can a Nigerian who holds the current standard passport (ECOWAS)apply for another one within 7months to the date of expiration of the passport outside Nigeria?
Is this renewal or re-issue?

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

I think someone has raised a similar issue. If the passport is only expiring and still has empty pages, then it can be renewed. If the pages are filled, then it will need to be reissued.

Ali Zahir Hussein said...

My question you choose to ignore. Thank you very much.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Ali, I dont see any question here from you. What was it about?

Simi said...

Hi Nnenna,

A million thanks for the post. One appreciates the thoughtfulness and the information you put into it, and even the way you respond to the questions is commendable.

Please, I'd appreciate some clarity on this renewal/re-issue thing. Yes, I do have the ECOWAS label on my epassport, issued in 2009, which is dues to expire in February; and I have some extra pages.

My questions are:

Can one 'renew' in Abuja? - because I was thinking of flying into Nigeria next week for something else.

Also, can one 'renew' within or just before six months to expiry date?

Does it affect one's visa?

Thanks a bunch!

Simi said...

Hi Nnenna,

A million thanks for the post. One appreciates the thoughtfulness and the information you put into it, and even the way you respond to the questions is commendable.

Please, I'd appreciate some clarity on this renewal/re-issue thing. Yes, I do have the ECOWAS label on my epassport, issued in 2009, which is dues to expire in February; and I have some extra pages.

My questions are:

Can one 'renew' in Abuja? - because I was thinking of flying into Nigeria next week for something else.

Also, can one 'renew' within or just before six months to expiry date?

Does it affect one's visa?

Thanks a bunch!

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Simi. Yes. Any Nigerian embassy can renew the passport. It can also be done at any Passport center. No, visas are not effected. Because renewal extends the life of the passport for another 5 years. Even if you have a 20-year visa, it will still extend as other passports are issued to you.

Just for other people who may be in the same situation, a visa is accorded to a person, not a document.

Simi said...

Merci pour la réponse rapide.

Are you positive that the renewal can be done at any passport centre? It would be a great relief not to have to go Abuja.

Do you know the procedure? Does one have register/pay/book-appointment online?

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Simi. The last passport I renewed, I did it in Accra and I did not pay. But I think admin fees may be charged. It is a standard stamp they put on page 3. If you look at the current passport you have, you will find out that Page 3 is titled "Observations". That page exists just for that.

Simi said...

Thank you. You know what they say: evil thrives when good people keep quiet. By speaking out, you have used your experience to help other people. Cheers!

Barbie said...

Thank you so much Nnenna.... I have a little problem and i think you may be of help with your advice. I have an E-passport with three names before but now i want to use just two names, what do you think i can do? Do i need to go to Abuja for renewal/Re-issuance or do i just stay in Ghana and request for a fresh passport. Will they know i have gotten an e-passport before? Thanks in anticipation.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Barbie. I am not sure you realise that it is NOT "a small problem" that you are raising here. Are you just deciding to use two names overnight? A change of name is a legal action. If you are a Nigerian living in Ghana, you cannot change your name in Ghana. You can only legally do that in Nigeria. With the affidavit, you can now go to the appropriate authorities to add that "Observation" on page three of your passport.

I may be wrong but is it linked to marital status? If yes, I will suggest you keep your passport until it expires. If the two names are among the 3 names, then no worry.

Yours is neither a case of renewal nor reissue. It is a legal change in social status.

In summary, you need to do the legal clearance first, then go to the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana so they can officially add whatever changes you have made as "Observation" on page 3 of your passport.

From experience, I will say keep your passport, use it as it is and let it run to its end. Otherwise you may create more problems for yourself

Think it through.. and pray about it.

Adejoke said...

Hi Nnenna, thanks so much for this blog post! I have been searching the web for information on how to renew my ECOWAS e-passport which expires next Jan. I called the embassy here in the UAE (I live in Dubai) and I was told I will have to go to Nigeria to do it as they do not have the machine here. But from your reading your blog post, it seems I can do it anywhere so I will apply to the Embassy in Germany as I'll be there next month. My only concerns are if my appointment will fall in the period while I'm there and if it does will they let someone else collect the passport on my behalf? I will only be in Germany for a few weeks. Please let me know what you think.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Adejoke. Does the passport still have pages? If yes, then it is renewal. The embassy does not need any machine for that. I will say take your passport to the embassy in Dubai and show it to them. If there are pages remaining, they should just extend its validity for another 5 years. It is a stamp they put on page 3.

If they understood "reissue", which is what will happen if there are no longer pages.. then it is a different issue.

If it is a case of reissue, then Germany will not do it. They will ask you to go to Nigeria.

So which case is yours?

ULOALO said...

What is the process like to renew your epassport in the UK? I still have blank pages on the passport and it was issued in 2007. Please help

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Where in the UK are you? In London, the Nigerian house is at Trafalgar Square.. just across Sherlock Holmes.. You cant miss it.

Renewal should be able to be done on the spot.

solatsn1 said...

Hi Nnena,really need your help badly.I got an e-passport sometimes 2007 but I gave it to my boyfriend then who has travelled out now Α̲̅Ω̴̩̩d̶̲̥̅̊ on the passport was his surname followd by my first name Α̲̅Ω̴̩̩d̶̲̥̅̊ middle name.Recently I have to procure another e-passport now am married but no T̅o him but another person In which I will have to use his Surname but was told @ the immigration office to go to Abuja Α̲̅Ω̴̩̩d̶̲̥̅̊ that Ȋ̝̊̅s highly expensive,tedious ΑΩd it will take up to a month to get it.Please as it is am not with the previous passport,what can I do,the requirements,how you can be of assistant to me please.I need your help.Sola

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Sola na wa oo. It is a bit complicated, as you said. We need to clear a few things. 1. Your present location. If you are in Nigeria, it can make things easier. 2. Have you had other passports before the 2007 one that does not have the ex's surname? 3. Are you legally married to the present husband?

If (3) you are legally married Mr Husband and (2) You have not had earlier passports before 2007 and (1) you live in Nigeria.. then you should go either to your home state, to your place of birth and get a certificate from your local government, add your marriage certificate and get a brand new new passport without mentioning the 2007 incident. It will be as if you are getting a fresh passport as a first timer.

Whatever the case is, you are better off not even mentioning the 2007 case.

solatsn1 said...

Thanks Nnena for your advise,Am legally married to my present husband now and I have my local government certification.But when I got to the immigration office to get another passport In which I have done the neccesary things filling of the forms and taking of pic.in which I didn't make ref.to previous passport but was informed that I have done it before my thumb prints and To rectify it is in Abuja which will cost me 150k.Presentl
y am in Nigeria.Am so confused now because I don't even know where to start from whatand what wil I tendered @ Abuja.How can you be of assistant ma because I need to get it urgently.thanks in anticipation.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Okay. NIS has your fingerprints already. So they know you have had a passport. I will be honest. You HAVE TO GO TO ABUJA.

When you get to the office, go straight to the passport hall and speak with an officer. If you can contact an officer you already know before arriving, that will help you.

It is a case of re-issuance. Speak to the Officer that will help you so that you know how best to navigate it.

If you have the cash for it, you can get your passport next day.

Wasiu Okunnu said...

I have my e-passport issued in 2010 and it was lost to fire accident last year. I learnt that to get a new e-passport for lost or stolen i will have to be in Abuja. Now someone confused me today that i can have it done here in Lagos at 35k and the issuing date and passport number will different from the lost one. i dont know if anyone hav an idea about dis. And if its true that i will b going to Abuja, how much is it going to cost? how long is it going to take? coz i can only have 2 days off from my work anything beyond that 2days is sack. Pls i need your help friends...Am lost in confusion. email (lifesosimple2003@hotmail.com)

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Wasiu. The new passport cannot bear the same number with the old one. Passport booklets are preprinted. So you are getting a new passport in replacement of the old one lost in the fire.

I will tell you to go to Abuja directly. At least you are sure to get it there, no matter what the case may be. Reissue is 10K. That is what I reported on the blog post. If you have a place to stay in Abuja, fine.

I will say you try to get in contact with an immigration officer in Abuja before you kick off the journey. At least that person will be expecting you. It makes things work faster.

If you have only 2 day, take a Monday and a Tuesday or a Thursday and Friday, so that you can use the weekend for travel.

All the best

Anonymous said...

This change of name thing is getting difficult by day for those in that category i hope soon there should be a way out.

Anonymous said...

God bless dear for your free help I applaud you.
My cousin who just turned 18 misplaced his passport, he used to leave at south africa before he returned to nigeria last year (2011) and he then misplaced his passport, now his aunt (at lagos) wants to take him to the uk. Well my question is how can we get a new passport. I have seen nothing on the internet about this and we don't want this opportunity to pass him by.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nnenna,
Thanks for all the info you have been providing. I have the ECOWAS e-passport which is expiring Nov. 2013. I am applying for a New Zealand visa and was asked to present a passport whose validity extend atleast 3 months beyond my intended stay (3 years). I guess I would need a passport renewal. Do you have an idea if my passport can be renewed in NIS office at the state level or I need to go to Abuja?

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

To anonymous1, your cousin has to go to Abuja to get another passport. To anonymous 2, the total lifespan of a passport is 10 years. So you dont have an issue with New Zealand for now. When the passport expires first time in 2012, it can be renewed to 2018. I don think they will give you any trouble in NZ, but I will suggest you go the nearest Nigerian immigration service to see if you can get a letter confirming that the passport can be renewed, just to be on the safe side. If they accept to "Renew" now, fine. You dont need to go to Abuja for this one.

Tunde KING said...

Hey Nnenna.
Beautifully posted blog. Read it with pleasure, I actually found it quite amusing. I stumbled across this because a friend of mine needs to renew her lost Nigerian passport and was told she needs N50,000. I thought that was ridiculous but your blog has educated me to the fact that its not an official cost, but the cost to smoothen and grease the process.

I hold a UK passport but I recently applied for a Nigerian copy recently in the UK. The process is a little chaotic at the Nigerian High Commission in the UK, but there is a method to the madness and after a 2 month wait to get an appointment to submit the application and a $65 fee, the passport is issued a week after the "interview" and thumb printing process.

Seems like the eyes of the world are watching in the UK so no mago mago. I even tried to give one helpful official a thank you £20 note but he refused (shock horror). In Nigeria however, our people MUST chop.

Anonymous said...

Hello Nnenna,
My e-passport pages are full and the passport will be expiring in November so i know i need a re-issue in Abuja.
all my visas are still valid but in my maiden name.
i am now married and would love to adopt my husbands name in the new passport.
will this affect my visas and visas re-issue in future in any way?

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Anonymous. I have been out in Internet-starved places so I am just seeing your message. 1. Visas are given to persons not to passports. So change in passport will not affect your visas. 2. You need to take your marriage certificate and the other passport to Abuja. 3. Based on your marriage certificate they will add the new name. 4. They will also insert on the "Observation" pager of your passport something like "previously held passport xxx".

I dont think you will have any problems.

All the best

Anonymous said...

Hi Nnena... This is such a great blog. I'm in South Africa. My name is Daima. A friend of mine has lost he's epassport and to go to Abuja is a cost he cannot afford to handle right now.as he has just started he's new job. Is it possible that a member of he's family renew it for him using he's passport number?he currently holds a certified copy of passport and work permit. Then maybe post it back...he was just about to open a bank account and do traffic registration. Now... He's confused. This happened a week ago.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Daima. I was actually speaking with someone in Joburg last week who said the Nigerian embassy in SA appears to be re-issuing Passports. Did your friend report to the police when the passport was lost? I mean does he have a police report?

If he is to go to Abuja, he will have to go in person, because his image will need to be taken. So it is not possible for someone to do it on his behalf.

I suggest he uses the certified copy for his runs, with a copy of the police report.

But contact the Nigerian embassy as fast as possible and know.

Please keep us posted.

Bolanle said...

Hi Nnenna,

Thank you sooo much for bridging the gap for most of us, even those of us in the country. I am in lagos and my passport expires in dec 12 , i need to renew my us visa asap, i dont need a re-issue, just a renewal.
Praytell, SCan that be done in the lagos passport office

Again thank you very much

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Bolanle. I hope you will be able to do that in Lagos. I will say you go to the passport office and request for renewal. It happens on the spot. I cant say how much it costs though. Keep us updated.

Anonymous said...

hi... sorry about your experience with the NIM. is it now impossiblet to own 2 passports? mine is completely out of reach (husband holding it to ransom) and i want to try to get another one. is it possible? if yes, will they both be valid.

thank you

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Mhmm. My Sister, na wahala we dey so oo. Before re-issue, you need to account for the past passport. The best you can do is to talk to the officer that will "help" you.

Good luck

daniel said...

Thanks for sharing your vital experience with us. Your life is a blessing to us all. Every effort to locate my e-passport has proved abortive and i need to apply for a study permit with Canadian embassy. What exactly do i need to do? I have the photocopy of the data page. What point do i start from? Do i need police report or affidavit sworn to in a court of law?

Thank you so much.
Daniel (danjonah07@yahoo.com)

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Daniel, Na wa oo. Which one be "effort to locate my e-passport has proved abortive"? Where was it originally? When did you start looking for it? Do you suspect it might have been stolen? Whichever way, you need to account for it before a new one can be re-issued. And lost passports take longer than full passports! You will STILL need to go to Abuja and inform an Immigration officer who will tell you if you are able to speed things up and how best to do that..

Dont bother about swearing anything. Just keep money with you when you hit Abuja. Make several copies of the data page that is with you..

Good luck

Ogunfowora Taiwo said...

wow..i live in Ukraine, i lost my passport. and somehow, i think it is taking too long, i submitted my documents last week at the embassy in Kiev and i was told i will be called when to come and collect a new one.but i have to be in italy in 2 weeks time and i need my passport for some business there. do you think i should go to Abuja and do it?. They can actually re-issue a passport here, it just takes ridiculously long time

ayodot said...

I posted a question in May this year about renewal and re-issue of the current Nigerian e-passport.
I succeeded in getting a re-issue done in the UK eventhough I had many blank pages left and only 6 months to its expiration.
I want to say that there is nothing like renewal of the current epassport. It is true that when you visit the Nigerian immigration website, you will find something like that. It is not applicable to the current epassport. It was for the machine readable passport which has been phased out already.
If you are outside Nigeria and your passport is about 6 months to its expiration or the pages are filled, you can apply for re-issue at any of the most of the Nigeria high commission. There is no need to take a trip to Naija. Just call the high commission for clarification. It is not easy to get them on the phone though.

My experience was great. The expiration date of my old epassport is 28 Jan. 2013 but I applied for re-issue on 23rd July 2012 at the high commission in UK. The process was so simple. I got there at about 9.35am, joined the long queue outside and entered the commission after about 10mins after presenting my old epassport, $65 online payment slip, 20£ postal order for processing fee, appointment slip and application slp. I was given a number and waited till my number was called. I walked up to the counter, presented my documents and I was asked to go back to my sit and wait till I was called again.
Few minutes later, a member of staff called several names and told us to go upstairs for our biometrics. The waiting time was quite short. In less than 2 hours I was done. Collection date was 7 working days (9 days)later. The old epassport was collected from me initially because it was still valid. It was returned to me when I went for collection of the new one because I had a valid visa on it.

Process of applying for the new epassport is now easy. visit www.immigration.gov.ng, follow the process well outlined on the website and pay $65 online. Print out your application, payment slip and book appointment online. Ignore the date you get when you submit your application and make online payment. Just login with your details and book for a convenient date.
I hope my experience helps someone. Thank you.

ayodot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Ogunfowora

I will say to wait until your passport is issued in Kiev. Maybe call them and explain the urgency. But once it is in the system, Abuja already has that information.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Ayodot

Many many thanks for sharing. Will help lots of others. God bless you. You are not the only one that has given a positive feedback about the Nigerian Consulate in the UK. It helps us to know that things work in certain places.

Anonymous said...

HI NNENA
Really interesting reading ur blog. pls could u enlighten me on the process to get a nigerian passport for my new baby in the uk. as per how long it will take to get one and the cost of making one.
also , i intend to change the name on my passport as i am now married.can i do that in london? do u know how much it will cost, and how long this will take?

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hello anonymous.

I think you can refer to the feedback from ayodot. The Nigerian embassy in London will give you full details. It is located by Trafalgar square across Sherlock Holmes.

Do not forget to take your baby and change of marital status papers.

Good luck

Anonymous said...

Good write up nnenna and quite informative. Welldone.
i have read Ayodot's post but its not as easy as that. Been on the Nig embassy website in London and information is quite scanty and not very clear.
I got married in 2010 ands now need to change my passport due to change of name by marriage. It is not clear how much i need to pay. The requirement is quite clear but tyhe cost is not very clear. see link below plshttp://www.nigeriahc.org.uk/pdf/fees.pdf
does it mean i need to pay only £40.00 total. at least thats what the infor says but Ayodot advised to pay more.
reissue is £65.00 plus £20.00 but change of name says £25.00 plus £15.00. i still have my old e passprt and got all the requirement ready. how much exactly do i need to pay. Pls can you clarify. i just had a a baby and dont seem to be thinking propeerly these days....lol

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

My Sister, abeg, unless you have an urgent need to do change of name.. please give time to your baby. You can use the other passport until its pages fill up. So that when you are doing reissue, you couple it with change of name. If you are planning to do a reissue now, (which is better than going through all of that hassle just for a change of name)then it might end up cheaper.

Anonymous said...

Hello Nnenna,
I want to change the DOB in my E Passport.. The passport will expire by January.. Because of the stress in going to Abuja etc. should I wait for it to expire for me to do a new one with new DOB?

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

How far now? DOB is a key feature in your passport. What happened that you want to change it? Was the first one a mistake? You may be required to go to a Magistrate Court and swear an affidavit with the new DOB.. but go to the nearest immigration office and ask. If you live outside Nigeria, seek counsel with the Nigerian embassy/consulate nearest to you.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. It was a mistake.. Is it possible for me to do a new one with a new DOB when it expires

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Of course, you can re-issue a passport. But for the epassports, those information are fixed. So you need to begin the work of rectifying that information now. I am saying you CANNOT just show up to reissue a passport and tell them "Oh, please change my DOB"..

You need legal paperwork to back up that request. Good luck

Anonymous said...

Thanks I'm so happy hearing from you... What if I wait for the old one to expire, can I get a new one with new date of birth.. What happens to my data in their system..

Anonymous said...

Hai Nnena, thanks for your response. yes i need another passport with my married name to be able to apply for citizenship as i do not want to apply for citizenship in my maiden name before them think say i get hidden agenda.
Question is: How much will it cost me to get a new passport with a change of name £40.00 or £85.00
thanks

Anonymous said...

Dear nnena I have an old internationAl passport which I did in 2004 and it expired in 2009,but I haven't useD the passport and noW the e-passport is out what do I do and I need the e-passport. Do I go to the immigration with the old passport or apply for a new passport and hw much will it cost and how long will it take me to get the passport.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi,
Only ePassports are used in Nigeria. The old passport, even if it has pages, is no longer valid. Depending on where you are applying, total costs may differ. But the info here may help: http://immigration.gov.ng/

Good luck

Anonymous said...

Good nnena,I'm kareem by name. I'm resident here in Nigeria and I have some issues with my passport.I was issued an e-passport in 2011,now I have travelled to south africa and return with the passport. Now,I got admission to study masters in the US,I appeared for the interview and I was rejected because I had a kenya visa that was fake in the passport. To my greatest surprise,I never knew the kenya visa was fake. A consulttant got me the south africa, so he was the one who did the kenya issue and I never requested him to and I never ask why he did so. Now,sincere and very urgent response from,I need a new passport cos I want to apply at the US embassy again.same data and everything,I just want to avoid the fake kenya visa issue again. Can I get the new passport in Lagos or abuja? If yes,will it be the same number with the old one? Thank u for response. I'm an innocent soul in a dire situation,May God help u.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Kareem. Happy New Year to you. There is no straight off-the-shelf answer to your question. Why did you not question the visa? Visas are given to individuals with the understanding that all information provided were true. Did you ever use it for a trip to Kenya? Let me give you free legal advise here:

1. There is NO problem with the passport. The problem is with the HOLDER of the passport.
2. If that passport goes to Passport Office, NIS may cease it, and will most probably reject your next application for a passport. They will claim fraud, and you will agree with me that they will be right.
3. I will advise you to contact the Kenyan embassy. Meet with the consul and explain to him. They will have the right to "Cancel without prejudice" the fake visa. They may ask you to pay for admin.
4. If you go back with a new passport to the US visa interview, you are most certainly sure you will be rejected. It is far better to rectify the old passport issue and re-appear with the same. Then you would have proved that you had no intention to fraud.

Over all, it is not an easy case, and I pray that you will be able to clear it asap. I am currently in Lagos and may be able to support. Drop me a private line and I will see what I can do.

Anonymous said...

Hello Nnena, pls i have issue with my E passport i made one in 2007 with info given to me and not my real info now i want to change to my infomation..how can i go about it as i cant have 2 e paasport.
thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

No,I never use it to travel to kenya. Like I said,I never requested the kenya visa in the first place. I requested for south africa visa,the agent only insert the kenya visa for reasons I don't know. But since I got the SA visa and travel with it to SA without issues,I never bother about the kenya visa if it was fake or genuine and I never thought of it ever as an issue. All my mind was that the visa will be original,I've never been to the US embassy before, so I don't know they peruse all your previous visas carefully until that very day for ma f-1 student visa.I was stunned when the VO said the kenya visa is fake and that he didn't believe ma stamps too were real. so cos of these,he couldn't issue me the visa and I got a 214b denial immediately.now,I have defer my admission to fall dis year, so I want to go for that interview again.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Dear Anonymous.. I do not understand why a passport will be made for you with information that is not your own. It is fraud, and a crime. Things have changed in Nigeria. The essence of the ePassport is that once your name, date of birth, place of birth, gender, and signature have been captured, those information shall NO LONGER be changed. In fact, the only thing that changes when a passport is re-issued is your image. Chikena.

Anyway, I dont know which info was wrong on the 2007 passport but I can tell you that there is only 1 single solution to your problem: GO TO ABUJA. They are the ones that have the possibility of changing any mistakes in passports that have been issued. Because they now have to modify the digital file.

Good luck to you and please tell your family and friends that any wrong information in an ePassport that is willful is a crime

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Kareem, I sent an SMS to the mobile number you gave me while I was in Lagos, but I did not get a response. Like I said, it is too late for you to deny that the Kenya visa was not issued to you by your own application and request. And already, the US has redflagged you as a fraudster.

So find a way for the Kenya embassy to cancel that visa and take another shot with the same passport at the US..

Good luck

Anonymous said...

I have a valid canadian passport and an expired and old Nigerian passport can I travel to Nigeria?

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Anonymous. Travel is done only with valid passports. So only the Candaian one is road-worthy. You can try to renew the Nigerian one there, if it is easy and possible. Othewise, you will need to process a visa like every other canadian, then bring the old passport to Ikoyi, in Lagos, for renewal.

If it an ePassport, then it is a re-issue. If it is the older one, they you have to apply for the ePassport.

Bon voyage

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmmm my story is on the way because I am still processing my change of name at the moment and it has taken a total of 4 weeks now...how about the cost so far, you don't want to know. This country is far from doing the right thing!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Nnenna,
I'm Kenny, a Nigerian living in diaspora. I stumbled on your blog whilst trying to get some information online about an issue similar to the one being discussed. Please, would like to see your advice the issue, but want to keep it private. Is there a way I can send you a private message through this blog? or any other preferred means? Thanks.

Kind Regards,
Kenny

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Kenny

My Gmail account is the one used for this blog. Nnenna75

Shoot to that address

chigbundu cynthia said...

Hi Nnenna ,am cece i have a little challange regarding to my Epassport i had my first Epasspot in the year 2010 buth the surname i used there was my exboyfriends surname

but some thing came up and i didnt continue with the processing of the visa and my ex boyfriend has traveled to USA and am still in abuja nigeria and now we re no more together

and i have a fiance that based in canada who is inviting me to canada and i dont want to process the visa with my exboyfriends name and all my credentials re bearing my fathers name so i want to

get a new passport with my fathers name but am a little bit scared about the tumb print that might show cos i dont want a situation were by i will be refused visa and i wouldnt want my passport to be bearing my

ex boyfriends name when i will be married to my fiance so pls i need ur adcice thanks a million

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Cece. THe EPassport is only issued once. Any other ones are simply reissue. Some things willnot change: Name and surname. Date of birth. Place of birth.

If there is any error or any changes... only Abuja will be able to handle it. So the answer to your question is "Go to Abuja".

Nancy said...

Hi Nnena,
Thank you for your write up. It is quite ironic that even 2yrs after your experience the story remains the same.
My ECOWAS epassport expired this Month and efforts to get info on renewal ended up with an N18,000 fee.
Someone also drew my attention to the fact that page 3 is only observation and there is no renewal page.
How do i go about renewing my passport. Is there anyone you can refer me too?

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Nancy.

You did not say where you live. But check the nearest Nigeria embassy or Consulate. But in general the practice is to reissue it. It can be done in any Passport office now in Nigeria and in number of representations abroad.

Anonymous said...

I have been processing my new e-passport for reason of change of name following marriage. This is in Abuja and we are at the end of the 3rd week now. I have just found out through the officer that is in charge of it that another random and unknown officer has signed for it and taken it out of the AGC's office.

I am just devastated to hear this because I cannot even explain how important it is to me and how much of a mess he has now put me in. He is just saying he will locate it.

Communication and generally getting through to him is very limited. Please someone tell me what I can do - it's driving me crazy and I'm worried sick.

Dada

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hello my sister.

You need to take the matter seriously. The officer in charge of your file should have been the one to sign it out. I understand that after 3 weeks, you had come to the mode of "I will call you when it comes out".

Dont get too devastated. It will surface. One good thing about the passport is that the details are in the machine.

Courage, my dear. We will keep you in our prayers

Anonymous said...

Hello,

Just wanted to let you know that I have finally sorted it out and got both my old and new passport. It was a nightmare and probably deserves a standalone blog entry, as we should not keep quiet about the corruption in this country. Thanks for your encouragement.

Dada

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hello,

Just wanted to let you know that I have finally sorted it out and got both my old and new passport. It was a nightmare and probably deserves a standalone blog entry, as we should not keep quiet about the corruption in this country. Thanks for your encouragement.

Dada

Josh Jibola said...

Hi nnenna sent u a private email about my passport issue for ur candid advise but no reply yet hope all is well ..God bless

Josh Jibola said...

Hello sister,

sent u private email via my hotmail for ur candid advise but no reponse yet hope all is well..God bless

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Josh. I did not get to see the message. To which of my addresses did you send? You may need to resend. I have added you on Google+

MOG said...

Hi Nnenna,thanks so much for ur help,God will reward u.....my wife did her e.passport last yr November,and got a visa to SA to join me,she is actually here with me now but there was a mistake in here passport that we didn't notice till recently...we discovered that they ?NIS made mistake in printing her date of Birth to be 9th may instead of 19th May.please how do we change this?...thanks for ur response in anticipation....(saviour44real@yahoo.com).

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi MOG,

Humm NIS will not accept that responsibility. Because after your data is captured, you will be asked to verify on the screen before it is sent. And when you come to collect, they will ask you to verify. But once a passport leaves the office and is activated, it is a closed case.

Only Abuja can make that change.

Anonymous said...

Hello Nnenna!
I'll appreciate your suggestion on my issue...It's giving me serious headache. One of my given names (middle name) as it appears on my passport (which was issued in 2011) is not complete. For example 'Christofer' being written as 'Stofer'. It didn't bother me at first, until I realised every subsequent document I needed especially as an international student, from visa to school record, required the name I have on my passport. I would be in nigeria this summer; what can I do? This passport still has more than two years validty, but I want my full names on my passport!
Thanks for your help.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hello to you and every other subsequent reader. There are KEY information you MUST verify before your passport is centralised in the NIS database. For new passports, it is after the capture of your details. This might have been done by you or by an officer. Because once your details are sent and centralised, ONLY ABUJA can make any changes.

These info inclde:
1. Your surname, and other names
2. Your village or place of origin
3. Your date of birth

These information are now PERMANENT. The e-passport does not RENEW, it only gets reissued. And even at that, the only thing they do is to take a photo.

So please go to Abuja. I will suggest you MAKE the CHANGE and REISSUE at the same time, even if you still have pages or time.

PLease keep us posted

Anonymous said...

Hi Nnenna,
I posted a comment earlier today about incomplete middle name. I really appreciate you taking time out to advice.
I remember indeed I was asked to verify, but I didn't understand the full ramifications of having a partial middle name on my passport. I just said 'oh it's okay'.
Please, I need further counsel if you don't mind.
I would be renewing my US visa during my visit and I was going to proceed with applying and making appointment now for the interview, and of course it would require details from my current passport including the passport number. Should I wait till I get to Nigeria and process this reissued passport, before I apply for the visa? Or should I allow the new visa on the current passport anyway?
I was hoping to get a visa date so that I would book my roundtrip accordingly. Also, please consider that I need to get back to school in september.
Thank you and God bless!

Grace

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Grace

Corrections on admin papers are not earth-shaking events. I will say you should renew the visa with the current passport. When you get to Abuja, they will do a reissue and correct your name and do the necessary corrections. Once you can show that there is a valid visa on the current passport, you will be allowed to retain it. I dont think they retain the older passports anymore.

Do not worry much about it but please let your entourage get the message of verifying key bio data when requesting passports. If you do not have any contacts in Abuja passport office, I can share one with you off the blog.

Good luck

Andrea said...

This post just leaves a sour taste in my mouth... Why can't some Nigerians just get it right, so sad! This is the easiest process, why does it have to be this way? sad!

Andrea said...

This is so sad; the easiest tasks ever seem to be so tedious here. *sigh*

Anonymous said...


Hello Nnenna,
Good evening,please I have a big issue concerning my nigerian passport.2011 I applied and got my passport dat year. On my place of birth I have Lagos because all dis while I was made to believe I was born in lagos but only for me to find out I was born in london and I have been given my london birth certificate,pictures of me as a baby and so lot of other proof that I was indeed born in london.Now I want to change place of birth,I was told to pay 50k and thgey would go and do it for me at abuja.Please how do I go about this and how long will it take I need to apply for a student visa by august.Please help me out for the solution

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hello.

I have a few questions (as a legal person) to ask to help me understand if it is really a huge issue. Where do you live now? Where are you applying for a visa to?

Scenario 1: You live in Nigeria. If you are applying for a visa in Nigeria with a Nigerian passport, nobody will bother about the Lagos place of birth.
Scenario 2. You are not living in Nigeria. As far as the embassy is concerned, you are a Nigerian and where you are born matters little. Nationality is the big deal

Now do you want to capitalise on your London "birth right"? If so, then it is not a "Nigerian issue". It is UK issue. You go and declare yourself there and check for the possibility of processing your citizenship.

Having said the above, pleasee take important note:
1. If the passport is 2 years old already and has been used, you might as well ask for it to be reissued. You will need to be there because your photo will be taken again and your thumb print is needed to sign off the passport. So please dont let anyone tell you they can do it for you. So I will say join reissue and "rectification".
2. In either of the 2 cases above, unless you are applying to the UK, being born in Lagos, or Aba, or Londing does not in any way influence your visa chances. So please apply for a visa with your passport the way it is and go and do your studies..

In summary: Go ahead and apply for your visa. Do the correction when you need to reissue the passport, and save yourself the costs. Sort out the London thing with UK authorities.

All the best

Anonymous said...

Thank you,I got your reply but in answer to the question you asked,I presently live in lagos,and I want to apply for a student visa to study in uk. The passport I have was issued 2011 and yes its up to 2years.Now my confusion is how do I chabge the place of birth on my passport before thge first of august when I need to apply for the uk student visa andcan I do it in lagos.Thanks in anticipation

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

My sister,

A change int he place of birth from Lagos to London will not give you any added advantage in the visa application. It might even cast a doubt. Leave that case until the passport is due for renewal. Since you have till August 1, why not try and meet with the Home Affairs part of the UK Embassy and inquire about getting a UK passort, now that you have legal grounds to do so. Be honest with them, show all the papers and explain things clearly.

Ask for their advice. From my knowledge, they may need to make sure the UK birth certificate is authentic (Forgery in Nigeria is huge and that will be their first thought)

So call and ask for an appointment and present yourself with the originals and photocopies of the UK documents.

And pray about the whole thing.

Uche. said...

Thanks for this great blog.
I recently applied for an e-passport renewal in Abuja, and was told that only re-issues were given ( a cursory look at the e-passport showed that, unlike its predecessor, it had no space tagged 'Renewals').
Anyway, I paid a not so reasonable sum of 25 ton for a one day delay period...and I have your blog to thank for not tearing my hair out in the one day waiting interim :)

Wale said...

This is a really helpful blog post.

I misplaced my passport recently. I have gotten a Police Report and Affidavit.
I will be heading to Abuja tomorrow to get a replacement. Pls do you have the contact of any trust-worthy contact at the Immigration Service, that can make d process easier for me. I plan not to spend more than 2 days in Abuja.

Thanks

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Wale. I use nnenna75 on gmail. Drop me a line and I will give you a contact for Abuja

tessy said...

Hello nnenna,
Thank you for all the information you are going to people. My issue is that on my e-passport, my given names are mispositioned.My middle name came before my first name.l remembering complaining when l saw it but l was told that it doesn't matter since they are all my names. Now l have applied for us fiancé visa and l was told that my name should appear as it is on all my documents and passport. Kindly advice me on what to do as l have already schedule interview appointment for next month and l need to correct the error on the passport before the interview date. Again is there anyway the new passport can retain the number on the one I have now as l have used the number to schedule appointment.Won't it cause any issues for appearing with a passport with different number from the one l used in scheduling the visa appointment.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Tessy

YOu have no issues here. There are two parts to a name. The Family name and given names. The order is not of any importance.

The most important identification details on a passport are NOT the things that are typed, that you see. It is the things that are not typed: Your photo, your thumb print, your signature.

No, a new passport cannot bear the same number with an old one because passport booklets are pre-printed and numbered. And no, you do not need any new passport.

I am guessing this is the first time you are applying for a US visa and you are freaking out, because you want to put all the chances on your side. I am a US Visa veteran (On my 5th one). Let us touch base outside the blog and chat about your preparation.

No stress yourself. No shaking

Anonymous said...

Please I just sent you a message Nnenna on your gmail.please I need to renew my paSsport by weekend in benin.isn't reissue have read ur post so I know is renew please can it be done before the week ends and do you have any contact in benin?

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

I have responded to the email. There are NO RENEWALS anymore for ePassorts. They reissue. You did not say if it was Benin city or Republic of Benin .

Be sure they can reissue "in Benin" and I will say give it a 3 day shot to be on the safe side

Chris Lammey said...

Hello everyone,
My house get burnt and my E passport and I do not have copy of it. How can I apply for another one and get it in a week because I need an urgent travel out of the country.
Hope to hear from you guys soon.
Yours K

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hello Chris

Get a police report about the house being burnt and take it to the Passport office. It is a case of reissue. And once you get cleared it wont take up to a week.

When you get the new on, scan it and send a copy to yourself by mail. And keep that copy.

Good luck

Chris Lammey said...

Hello Nnenna,

Thanks for your quick reply, that is so kind of you.

Nnenna I really have to be honest with you here, I kept my E passport on an airtime starter pack so that no one will see it but my cousin did no have any idea about it and trow away the starter pack in the refused-bin, that very day the people came and take it for disposal. That was what happened but I was advised by a friend that if I tell the Immigration the truth they will waste me time in giving me another one cuz they will like to give much time to see if I will get my passport back but if I lie it went gone when the house catch fire they will immediately give me another one like you mentioned (A week) since I needed the passport urgently.

Please advice as I needed it urgently and how much do you think it is gonna cost me over their in Abuja.

Thanks,

Chris.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Chris.

What happened to you could happen to anybody so no need to lie about it. The passport is missing, simple. So go and declare it missing at the police or if you want just go straight to passport office.

They are not giving you back the same passport, as in reprinting, but they will reissue a new passport with another number.

This is not as tragic as you think and I pray it gets sorted fast

Victor Nweze said...

Hello Nnenna, My name is Victor Nweze. your blog is educating and the time i spent reading it was not a waste. i am having similar problem here, my e-passport expired recently and am residing in Gambia, am thinking of sending the passport to my Sister in Nigeria to help me renew it, because am having urgent travel at hand. do you think that will be possible, can someone do it on ones behalf.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Victor,

I know it is a long blog and there are over 120 comments so you may have missed the response to people who had same issues with you.

Your photo needs to be taken. Actually that is the only thing that is renewed. So reissue = Pay 10k, capture an up to date photo of the holder and reprint.

From the above, you know it is not possible for someone to sit in your place for the photo. So you need to go there.

Do not forget to make a copy of all the pages of the passport. You need to submit that with the request for reissue.

Good luck

Anonymous said...

Hi Nnenna,

Just spoke to someone at the Nigerian embassy here in Stockholm with regards to your earlier comment about extending a e-passport when the initial 5-year period elapses. They told me that e-passports are for a max of 5 years and I need get a new one.

Are you sure about what you said about it being renewable? And having a 10-year lifespan?

Noel,
Visby - Sweden

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Noel

The barmonized ECOWAS ePassport does not renew. It is reissued when it expires or is full. Yes, the embassy gave you a correct information. The reissue is a simple process of retaking your photo and reprinting, since your details are already in the system. You notice that there is no longer a "Renewal" page in our current passports.

I was in Stockholm in May and I loved the city, the royal palaces and the waterways.

Anonymous said...

Nnena, thanks. You have no idea how much the blog helped. And thank you for taking the time to reply everyone. I read all the comments.
Here's my own issue:I have an appointment at the US embassy October 3. My passport expires January. Embassy needs 6 months validity period. Was hoping I could renew but now I know I can't. If I am lucky to get a re-issued passport before the 3rd. Will that be okay? Or will that disqualify me? Will they be able to put my visa on my new passport even though the details I applied with are on the old?
Thanks a lot.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Oga Anonymous,

Here is my own case. Today, 20/9, I am traveling to the US. The US visa is in my passport that has been "canceled". What do you think?

Okay, here is the deal. A visa is given to an individual.

Here is what you do:
1. GO for a reissue asap. They will stamp "canceled" on the earier one.
2. Take both passports to the Embassy on the day of the interview
3. Also bring older passports if there have been visas issued on them.

You have 1 full week+ to reissue. It should be enough.

And please, keep us posted.
It is well, the Lord will go before you, and bless you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nnenna (I am taking liberties to call you dear). This is Oga anonymous or madam anonymous as the case may be. I got a new passport just in time. Just walked up to an officer at the immigration office...paid 18k and a week after, passport was ready. It could have been shorter but system was down. The US embassy put the visa on the new passport. Dem no even ask me anything. The Lord really went before Me.
Thank you for your help and God bless.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Big Madam Anonymous. We thank God for ya! Safe travels and represent us well oo.

Hugz

Anonymous said...

hi nnena, please i need to change the dob on my passport. my agent advised me to use a lesser age to apply for a u.s visa which i regret, anyway i did not get the visa, but i need to change my dob because something important has come up, and i dont know any body in abuja, please can you help out.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Dear Brother,

I think we should just keep the response I gave you inbox private. And I think you were wise to use anonymous.

Faking Identity is a crime. In all countries. And it is such things that is making life difficult for all of us. The US embassay will keep that information and share it. And if you come back, the info will bleep! And mind you, embassies share information.

For the benefit of all, visa agents at embassies are highly skilled people. Days have come and gone when you can cheat them easily. Be yourself and dont make it a life-or-death matter.

EZEANI CHIEBUKA PATRICK said...

My name is Ebuka. Nne biko my question is that my epassport is left nine months to expire and intend havin us visa interview next but by the time I intend traveling my passport will have six month .......so I want to know if I can renew it now that it has 9month validity that u

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Ebuka

It will depend on how long you will be in the US for. You can renew even after the visa. You keep this one, and the new one. Once again, visas are issued to individuals, not to passport. I am traveling to the US next month but the visa is still in my older passport. Nothing to stress about it.

Anonymous said...

hello Nnenna,
i have never obtained an imternational passport nor renewed any. i have just applied for an e-passport online and i am really not confortable going ahead with process as i really do not know if it will serve the purpose of an international passport at the end of the process. kindly advice, as i also want to own one as soon as possible. thanks

sterlingprince said...

hello Nnnenna, i have never apllied for a pasport neither do i own any. but i just applied for an epassport and i am not confortable to go on with the process as i am not sure if it will really serve as the normal international passport. kindly enlighten me. thanks

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Sterlingprince

The ePassport is the current format of what we used to call the "International Passport" It serves to travel outside of Nigeria and is valid for all countries.

If you have no plans to go anywhere outside of Nigeria, dont stress yourself.

Anonymous said...

Good job Nenna,
I've been separated from my former husbad te case has been in court for 2yrs now and my passport is in his name ,the issue is that i have someone in my life now and want change to his name. i spoke to d guy doing my family's passport for us and he said i should pay 50k and go to abuja for biometrics. do u thnk is right for me to pay him in lagos or i should g to abj and look for an agent?

Anonymous said...

Good day ma'am. I stay in SA... lost my passport few weeks now. I plan on coming back to naija for Easter. My problem/ question is this, i want to get a reissue of passport while on my visit to Nigeria and would i be able to get it done in Lagos and not Abuja like someone told me? I have a photocopy of my lost passport.. Between, i am coming back with a Travel Certificate.

Anonymous said...

Good day ma'am. I stay in SA... lost my passport few weeks now. I plan on coming back to naija for Easter. My problem/ question is this, i want to get a reissue of passport while on my visit to Nigeria and would i be able to get it done in Lagos and not Abuja like someone told me? I have a photocopy of my lost passport.. Between, i am coming back with a Travel Certificate.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

My dear Sister (bearing ex-husband's name),

Are you married to this new guy? Why do you need to change your name? Must you? If the case is still in court, it means it is not cleared. And it might be easier to renew "as is" and when you legally get married to the new person, then you go and "add obeservation" on the new passport.

Please do not pay money to anybody unless you are at immigration office. And please think through before you change names!!

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

My dear who lost a passport, where in SA are you? The Nigerian emabssy in SA is reissuing passports. In cases where a passport is lost, you have to do due process before arriving Nigeria. I strongly believe that it is easier for you to fix the problem before coming home.

But just in case you have to come, get the police report because they will need it in Nigeria. They need to open a case file and close it before any re-issue can be done. Dont be in a hurry, it might take time.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nnenna, God bless you for all your helps on this blog of yours... i find your blog quite educative. Let me get to the point.. I got my e-passport in 2011 at Ikoyi, Lagos office of NIS. I stay in eastern part of Nigeria.. I lost my passport a week now, though i've not had the chance to make a police report yet. I would like to know, when i get a police report, would i be able to get a re issuance in Lagos? I would be in Lagos next month end and might as well get a reissue of my lost passport there if its possible to get it there? I called my uncle and he told me such issues are only done in Abuja.. how true is that? Dennis.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Anonymous (that lives in the East),

The first step to re-issue is to produce the earlier passport. A photocopy of all the pages is also required. The a request for reissuance, citing an appopriate reason (pages full, expiry etc) But your case is missing passport.

You will need to go and make that police report ASAP. Reading from what you did not say, it appears you do not make much use of the passport. Have you looked for it very well? How did it get missing?

Last I checked, Abuja was the one doing that. They will open a case file, then close it. Bfore issuing a new one. But since you are going to Lagos, you can give it a shot and see. You may be lucky.

ANd for next time, KEEP YOUR PASSPORT in a secure place.

Anonymous said...

Good evening Nnenna, this is the guy from the east. About the passport, i've never used it to travel outside the country.. i only used it once to open a bank account and kept it safe in a backpack and that backpack got lost while i was on the last NIS job screening. Well, i actually plan to use it to apply for a visa asap. I once applied for a visa to the UK but it was rejected. and i just got the photocopy of the lost/ missing passport from the agent who helped me for the UK visa which was rejected. Do you have an idea how long it would take Abuja to get me a new one? I just did the police report today. I would be going to Abuja next week. but do u know how long i would have to be there for? Thanks for your help. I really am stressing out now as it seems like it would take forever to get this problem sorted out.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

My brother from Aba,

Now that you have the police report, I will say try Ikoyi first. If they cant reissue, at least they will give you all the necessary info for Abuja.

If the Officer with whom you did the first one is still there, it will be helpful.

Now, on the visa.. My brother, if you were in NIS stampede, it means you are young and dont have a comfortable job at the moment. Let me be honest, you fit the category that embassies dont give visa to.

Anonymous said...

Thank you madam nnena for your highly informative site. All what you said here is well understood but I was told around February this year that there is an embargo on changing DOB or reissuance of e passport in abuja. How true is this because I want to go to abuja for my reissuance of dob. In fact , one of the immigration officers whom I have his contact and called told me this. Has the embargo being lifted?

Anonymous said...

Please madam nnena, I was told that my dob is 1979 until I stumbles by a photocopy of my date of birth recently which reads 1977. I have 1979 on my international passport but will want to change it to my real dob since that is my real age and I just travelled out of nigeria but I am thinking of coming back to Nigeria asap to rectify the dob on my passport before applying for a residence permit in the country I am presently. I got in touch with an immigration officer who told me that there is an embargo on reissue of e passport presently at abuja. Please, what do I do? Honesty is the best policy and that is what I live by. Please help.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

My dear Anonymous. Please keep your passport and keep your peace. If your documents have been reading 1979 and you have been living with it till now, it means you CAN live with that. I'm not aware of the halt of any DOB or data change instructions in Abuja.

KInGs said...

Hello Nnenna, i am currently in canada and i already have the e-passport and its about to expire. My question is, can the epassport be renewed or does it have to be re-issued and also do i have to be there for it to be re-issued or renewed, especially as my details are already available? Your advise would be greatly appreciated as the consul here is just ridiculous

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi KInGs

There are no more "renewals". We only have reissue. Reissue means your photo is taken again and a new passport issued. So you cannot have your image captured unless you are there.



Anonymous said...

Madam, pls I went to abuja ending of February for my passport, cuz it was stolen and it has expired, and wen I did d passport was when I wasstill single, now that am married and I want to retrieve back my passport, I took d whole of my ddocuments both d old pasdport, my marriage certificate , d police report including my husband and son passport photocopy, till now I avnt collected and its getting to 3 months now.and d person doing it is one of d immigration officers, hes akways coming up wit one exvusr or the other.what do I do now, cuz I told him to send bk my 50 thousand and documents.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Dear Anonymous:

There are different issues here.
1. The replacement of lost passport. Did you get to scanning? Because after scanning, they will give you a date for collection. IF yes, then press on the Officer. If no, then there is NO passport wating.
2. On Name change: That cannot be done now. You have to wait till the passport comes out. You can add that as an observation
3. On asking for refunds... I hope it wont get there. You can only ask for refunds on a reciepted expense. Do you have proof?
4. Once passport fees are paid (10,000) they are not refundable.

But over all, I will say to make sure that your passport request was lodged.. your photo taken.. then you can hope

Good luck

Anonymous said...

Hello nnenna, please I need advice from you. Lost my babys passport and need to get a new one. Have a police report but do not want to go thru abuja's stress. Can I walk in to the immigration office at my state and request for a new passport for her.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Anonymous. So the question is: "Can I walk into any passport office and ask them to reissue a lost passport, on production of the police report"?

Straight answer: I dont know.

Try it. And give us a shout when you have done it. Will be good to know the current state of affairs.

Anonymous said...

Nnenna

Thank you for this blog. Got lots of info from here. Am currently in Canada now and planning on travelling to Nigeria in 2 months time. I have a valid Canadian passport and expired Nigerian passport. Am planning on doing the reissue in Nigeria, when I get there since the process here in Canada is too much. I stay in Toronto, and can't start travelling to Ottawa with my son to get a reissue.
My question is, pls do you know if I will have a problem with the airline or Nigerian immigration, if am go to Nigerian with my expired Nigerian passport. I will also have my Canadian valid passport with me too.
Thank you, your responds is highly appreciated.
Angie

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Dear Anonymous. The ball is in your court. If you want to travel as a Nigeria, you need a VALID passport. An expired or canceled passport is not valid for travel, anywhere.


If you want to travel as a Canadian, you will need to apply for a Nigerian visa, the same way Nigerians apply for Canadian visas.

Yes, you can reissue in Nigeria. And that will still take at least 1 week.

Peter May said...

Hello Nnena, many thanks for your blog I found it really educating.
Please do you have any idea if I could renew/reissue my Nigerian passport here in Uk 8 months to expiry?
I reside in Scotland and has been calling the customer service line but keep getting conflicting information

Thanks

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi Peter

Sure you can. Are the pages finishing? If it is just because of the approaching expiry date, you have time. Something tells me you may be plannin a trip to London and you may want to use that oppotunity.

Victor John said...

Is it possible to sell a country to another? Cos lets face it, its a dead end country and will remain same in 50 years. As for me i am seriously taking OPERATION ABANDON SHIP option. And i have an expired passport at hand, i can't even imagine a shameless immigration officer trying to get a penny from me, it would be so annoying.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nnenna,

Pls,my passport bears only my surname and first name while my documents like my certificate bears my surname,first name and middle name.Pls ma, is it advisible for me to apply 4 a student visa with the passport.Thanks

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

It is okay to go ahead and apply for a visa. THe security in a passport are not the "written" part of it alone. There is bio information too.

Chill.

Anonymous said...

Hello Nnenna,

I am glad to have found your blog that is able to address people's concern on their Passport related issues.

Am not a Nigerian national but my husband is and he is having the an incorrect date of birth on his passport and am highly concerned about it.

Am sending you an email to your email Nnenna75 about his current situation at the Nigerian Immigration office and I hope you will be able to throw some light on the issue at hand.

I sincerely look forward to your response.

Best,
Chrisey

Mantalk said...

Hi Nnenna, thx for the advice on the passport issue. Well, i had done an ecowas passport b4 in 2007 in Abuja.Though they had made a mistake on their own b4 with one alphabet on my surname. When i got to europe (Italy) i did another passport in 2009 by the time ecowas has not gotten to Italy ( i.e the old passport b4 the ecowas)but with different date of birth( i only changed the yr)my question is : even though it has expired two yrs ago, can my fingerprints still appear? bcos i would like to get a new ecowas now with my recent datas here in italy.

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hi mantalk,

Why did you change your date of birth? I dont know why people do this but it is fraud.

Anyway, to the case of reissue. Once your details are already in Abuja, once you go for reissue, only your photo will be taken. All other info are just reproduced.

But before an authorization to reissue is given, the officer will look through the earlier passport. In some centers, they ask you to make a copy of ALL the pages. If there is a discrepancy between what is on Abuja database and what your passport is carrying, na wahala be that oo.

So think through it.And decide which birth year you want to keep. Then stick to it.

Kenneth Ken said...

Hello can someone please help me with this problem of mine, i lost my Nigerian passport here in south Africa and i was told to travel back to Nigeria and apply for it, that i can not apply for it here in South Africa. So i called my brother in Nigeria to help me with the application which he did and after some days he told me that it has been approved which i also spoke to the immigration on the phone for it.
Now i am being told to come down to Nigeria to do the photo capturing and fingerprint, so i decided to contact the Nigerian embassy here in South Africa for assistance since the application for my lost passport has been applied for in Nigeria and approved, so he told me that i have to get the approval notice so that they be able to help with the issue of the passport here in South Africa.
So i called the immigration officer who told me that my application has been approved to send me the approval notice, that the Nigerian embassy here in South Africa said they can assist me with the re-issue if i have the approval notice, but he told me that there is nothing like that and that Nigerian embassies abroad do not issue passport for the cases of lost passports..Now i am very confused regarding that i have an appointment with American embassy and also to medicals...
Please is this true that i can not be issued an approval notice after i was told that my application has been approved even when the Nigerian embassy here told me that i should get one???
PLEASE HELP...

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Hello Kenneth.

The "Aproval" is not a written thing. It is an internal process between a passport office and the database. It basically means that your details in the database have been crosschecked and all information are correct. It is okay to reissue your passport.

They have been honest to you. You wont get an approval paper. And yes, you have to go to the same passport office to be scanned.

What I find disturbing is that SA guys refused to reissue for you.

In this case, get a letter from them saying they know your case and are recommending you.. As we never know. But the way it is smelling, you will have to go to Nigeria.

Good luck

Kenneth Ken said...

Thank you for your response. What i want to know now is, is there no way or nothing that the Nigerian embassy here in South Africa can use to confirm in there database that my application has been approved?

Thanks

Nnenna Nwakanma said...

Ken, I dont think so. All ofthat happens on the portal.

Maybe you should get the number of the officer that is deasling with your file in Nigeria. In truth, authorization is an easy thing... happens in minutes.

Dont worry. It is well