National, News

Fresh headache as passport booklets out of stock

By William Madouk


More pain as applicants who are processing passports are now stranded at the immigration office for weeks as passport booklets stock out.

*John (not his real name) told No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that he had spent three weeks waiting to receive his passport, but to no avail.

He added that he desired to travel to Kenya for schooling but feared that a delay would ruin his plan.

“I want to travel to Kenya, but I have no passport at the moment. I have had three weeks now, and ever since they told me passports [booklets] have finished,” said John.

“They told me that everyone except sick people must have it, but I told them I wanted to go to school because I am not sick, but they did not allow me,” he added.

With frustration, John stated that he was afraid of missing the admission or registration dateline as passport headaches remain.

“It’s so difficult for me because school may be occupied or admission will be closed, and I will lose the opportunity,” he lamented.

Another applicant who was supposed to travel to Egypt for an exam is likely to miss a chance as she doesn’t fall under the prioritized categories of’sick’ or ‘assigned by the government for a workshop.’ he added.

Besides, one senior immigration officer whose name is concealed informed the client that only sick people are entitled to have passports at this time due to the inadequate number of booklets.

“Passport [booklets] have finished, and those who now prioritize are the referral cases to the hospital (aboard) or those sent by the ministry to attend workshops outside the country,” he said.

But Col. Laura Paul Pidi, the director of moral orientation and spokeswoman at the Directorate of Civil Registry, Nationality, Passports, and Immigration (DCRNPI), confirmed that indeed the booklets are few.

“The passports are now few, and that is why we decided to keep them for emergency cases. If someone has a serious emergency case and is going for treatment, we can provide him/her with the means with the means to go and seek treatment,” Laura told this outlet.

“For other categories, it is still—that is why now we only issue them to those who have special needs and are sick, and we hope if more booklets arrive, we will give them to anybody,” she added.

Ms. Laura underscored that for students who are done with the admissions process and pending travel, they would stand a chance of getting a passport, but not for those who are still in the process.

“For those who are still waiting and the general public, I would like to inform you that be patient; always success follows patient people—because the few we have, we kept for sick and emergency cases” she said.

“So, be patient, and when we bring more booklets, each and every one of you will get their passport, but now we say sorry” she empathized.

Recently, the Director General of the DCRNPI promised to fix all the irregularities in the institution to enable systematic and smooth operation.

Maj. Gen. Simon Majur Pabek noted that there has not been timely processing of nationality and passport IDs for South Sudanese who are eager to travel for important missions.

He said the institution has severally run short of passport booklets, with serious logistical and procurement difficulties arising from unknown angles.


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