Fact-Check: Is there a disparity in the official cost of a Nigerian Passport in the North and South?
Claim: A tweet recently emerged online showing that the cost of obtaining a passport in Northern Nigeria is way cheaper than obtaining the same in the Southern part of the country.
Full-Text: The tweet which originated from Naija PR generated massive engagements with over 2,039 retweets, 183 quote tweets, and 4,424 likes, at the time of carrying out this fact-check.
The tweet which has an accompanying screenshot of the Nigerian Immigration Service Domestic Passport Application Portal showing variation in cost between Umuahia, Yola, and Kano states:
“Passport price varying between Northern and Southern has got everyone talking.”
The tweet resulted in a lot of sentimental and divisive comments.
Commenting, a Twitter user said: “This is where leaders in the South East are supposed to speak up. They’d keep mute. Yet they’re always shocked why no one rates them.”
Another Twitter user commented, “This is no longer news, people even travel from the south and east to obtain a passport at the north. It’s come out cheaper and faster, one Nigeria different standards[sic].”
A fair comment by another user reads: “This is not about Southerners bro, they charge different amounts for same passport on an official portal. It should be same amount regardless of your region, except if you are dealing with an agent[sic] .”
PRNigeria conducted a keyword search and results from, here, here, and here revealed that the Nigeria Immigration Service has debunked the claim of a disparity in passport cost in the Northern and Southern regions of Nigeria.
NIS in its official Twitter account faulted the widely circulated tweet in a series of tweets.
“The attention of the Comptroller General Isah Jere Idris has been drawn to some stories about discriminatory Passport charges for Passport applicants in the North and South of the country. The report is not only laughable,” saying that it issues passports for Nigerians regardless of the region including those in the diaspora.
“It is a product of the latest technology in Passport issuance. It has improved security features, and a polycarbonate data page and comes in three categories of 32-page five-year validity (N25,000), 64-page five-year (N35000), and 64-page ten-year validity (N70000).
“It was unveiled sometime in 2019 & seven Passport Centres including Ikoyi, Abuja, Alausa, FESTAC, and Portharcourt. Kano & Gwagwalada were immediately migrated to the enhanced Passport regime then. Meanwhile, the electronic Passport is the usual one we have been issuing since the introduction of ePassport in 2007. The fee chargeable ranges from N8750-N17800 depending on the age of the applicant and category of Passport. At the moment, the Service is steadily migrating all its Passport Centres to the enhanced ePassport regime.
“To this effect, all centers in South-South, South-West & South-East including our Desks in the UK&USA have been fully migrated to the enhanced regime. In the work plan, Centres in the North-West, North-East, Canada&others are getting ready for migration to the enhanced Passport regime very soon.”
However, PRNigeria contacted the Service Public Relations Officer, Amoz Okpu, seeking more clarification on the matter and he reconfirmed that there is no difference in passport cost in any part of the country.
He said: “What they described as the disparity is just a misunderstanding of the introduction of the enhanced electronic regime which has additional security features that the electronic regime doesn’t. Those who are going to obtain passports at centers that are yet to convert to the enhanced electronic regime will pay lower charges than those centers who have already converted to the enhanced electronic regime,” adding that the charges will be uniform by the time all the remaining centers fully convert to the enhanced electronic regime.
Therefore, “the disparity people talk about is unjustifiable and misinforming,” he said.
Based on publicly available facts gathered by PRNigeria, the claim that there is a disparity in passport cost in Northern and Southern Nigeria is unjustifiable and misleading. It is therefore NOT TRUE.