The Nigerian government has launched a new enhanced electronic passport to improve passport application process for Nigerians at home and in diaspora.
Speaking during the rollout of passport at the Nigerian High Commission in London, United Kingdom, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, stated that Nigerian passport was the highest affirmation of Nigerian citizenship.
He added that it was the responsibility of the Nigerian government to provide the passport without any stress and within a reasonable period.
“What we have come to do here is symbolic of the core mandate of the Ministry of Interior and indeed, the Federal Government of Nigeria – affirmation of citizenship integrity,” the minister said.
“The Nigerian passport is the highest affirmation of Nigerian citizenship. It is therefore our responsibility to provide the passport without any stress, within a reasonable period. As we are all aware, there have been huge challenges from passport administration, shortage of booklet to touting and an economy of corruption built around it.
“These challenges have persisted for too long and a lot of people have become cynical while other have taken them as normal and then rolled with it. But I come from a tradition of problem solving in public administration. I do not believe that any problem is insurmountable, so we are going to solve all the problems associated with passport administration and we are already succeeding.”
Revealing the features of the new enhanced Passport, Aregbesola said it was a huge improvement from the standard Passport that was introduced back in 2007, with more sophisticated security features, making it one of the most secured passports in the world.
“The Enhanced e-Passport is a great improvement on the Biometric Passport technology which Nigeria adopted in 2007 as a strategic step towards curbing forgery, impersonation and other forms of frauds associated with obtaining travel document under the old Machine Readable Passport regime.
”We are aware that technology rules the world and we are keeping abreast of the latest development in the field. Over the years, the Nigeria Immigration Service had worked assiduously and in close synergy with Messrs Iris Smart Technologies Limited to develop and implement Passport reforms that are in tandem with international best practices, including extant International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Standards and Regulations,” he said.