They explained that the charges and levies were due to paucity of funds to run operations, while also explaining how they were addressing issues affecting Nigerians in other countries.
“The $100 they (Nigerians in the US) said has been added is voluntary; it is just for those who want to have their biometrics done without an appointment. If you wait for your appointment, you will g.t it (done) and not pay. But if you want it the same day, then pay $100,” the Minister said.
Onyema also said his ministry planned to make Nigerians in diaspora have access to a 24/7 call centre in Nigeria which would take complaints from across the world.
“The passport is the biggest challenge. When we talk about passports, the challenges are ours; some of the challenges are with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and some are with Nigerians themselves. On our side, we have the huge challenge of scarcity of passport booklets,” Babandede said.
He lamented that the NIS had only 47 offices across Nigeria despite the huge population of the country.
“We are going to set up a NIDCOM app which can be downloaded by all Nigerians in diaspora to even bring in their complaints and all.
“Also, the diaspora commission is very soon going to launch an Internet radio, where we are going to have communication all the time with our brothers and sisters in diaspora. So, the key thing is communication”.