The Director-General of Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr Joe Abah, has attributed the present scarcity of the Nigerian passports to the increase exchange rate of the dollar.
He noted the dollar which was formerly exchanging between N150 to N160 was now N300 and above.
Abah added that the passport was not produced in Nigeria as only three companies in the world had the capacity and techniques to produce an international travel passport.
“The reason for the scarcity is because since it’s not produced in the country, Nigeria had a contract with the foreign firm to do most of the production.
“So with the naira being so much against the dollar, it meant that the N15, 000 paid by individuals will only amount to 30 dollars not 100 dollars.
“So the money citizens were paying simply could not buy it anymore and government was a bit reluctant to increase the price three fold.
“Currently, the government is making efforts to look for ways to subsidise the cost until we can produce the passport in country or dollar drops.’’
According to him, it would take quite a bit of investment to have all the component of the passport produced in the country as the tread used in stitching it and paper for the leaflet was difficult to come by.