Dollar Shortages Worsen International Passport Booklet Scarcity
It is the season of scarcity.
Very soon, Nigerians will not be able to travel outside the shores of this country due to scarcity of international passport.
The gist is that Nigeria’s international passports are printed and imported, and Nigeria needs dollars to print more booklets.
But since Nigeria has been plagued by dollar shortage, the booklet remains a scarce commodity.
The Director-General of Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dr Joe Abah, painted the scenario in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN on Monday in Abuja.
He noted that the dollar, which was formerly exchanging between 150 Naira to 160 Naira, was now 300 Naira and above.
“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.
“And at the time the contract was signed, 100 dollars was worth 15,000 Naira which is the cost of the Nigerian passport of 32 pages, the 64 pages costs 20, 000 Naira.
“So, with the naira being so much against the dollar, it meant that the 15, 000 Naira 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.’’