By Palma Ileye
In continued efforts to ensure seamless service delivery for citizens, the Nigeria Immigration Service, has commissioned another Passport front office in Daura, Katsina State.
Speaking during the event held yesterday, the Comptroller General, NIS, Isah Jere Idris noted that the management has repositioned the Service towards attaining a truly world-class status to compete with its counterparts worldwide.
Jere stated that the issuance of e-Passports to bonafide Nigerians was one of the key mandates of the Service as entrenched in Section 2 of the Immigration Act 2015.
Saying that without a doubt, the unveiling of the front office in Daura and others like it were crucial if the NIS was to achieve its mandate of ensuring that e-passport issuance process was seemless and brought closer to the people.
He said that, “Over the years, passport issuance in Nigeria has witnessed tremendous reforms, from the manual to Machine Readable Passports, the e-passport, and now the enhanced e-passport.
“The current passport regime is
significant to our drive for robust service delivery to our citizens and reaffirms the Service’s resolve to ensure global best practices. As the demand for epassports in Nigeria continues to rise, the Service has equally risen to meet this challenge.”
He disclosed that in 2022, NIS issued 1.8 million passport booklets, almost twice the number issued in 2021.
“Last year alone, NIS issued 1.8 million passport booklets, almost twice the number issued in 2021.
“Efforts are ongoing to ensure more front offices are opened nationwide to reduce traffic. Just yesterday, we commissioned the passport office in Ilesha. Daura hence joins Alimosho in Lagos, Zaria in Kaduna and Ilesha in Ogun state as the front offices to be situated outside state capitals,” Jere said.
The NIS boss assured that with the rolling out of the enhanced travel document, it was certain that delays in processing Passports would be taken care of, provided applicants abide strictly with the application guidelines including ensuring that they use the online application and payment platform.
“It is also essential to ensure that prospective passport applicants synchronize the data in their passport application with the information in their NIN (National Identification Number).
“The enhanced e-passport comes in different categories,
including the ten-year validity passport booklet (for adults only), which saves Nigerians time and the cost of frequent visits to Passport offices. With this document, eligible applicants can now access various options available on the enhanced e-Passport categories.
“The options include: (i). the 32-page Five-year validity category; (ii). the 64-page Five-year validitycategory and (iii).64-page Ten-year validity
“The enhanced e-Passport is of polycarbonate technology and has additional 25 security features over the current electronic Passport. The polycarbonate data page is water-resistant, and it is the latest Passport technology, very durable and user-friendly. It is difficult to forge as the improved security features
will make any attempt easily noticeable,” he informed.
The CGIS added: “Nigeria is the first country in Africa to migrate to this type of Passport. May I quickly mention that the enhanced ePassport and the ordinary electronic Passport are running concurrently until a convenient time when all our Centres would have been fully migrated to the former.
“We want to use this opportunity to affirm the commitment of the Service to meet the rising demands for Passport services globally and we advise prospective applicants to visit the passport portal, (passport.immigration.gov.ng) to apply and pay for the Passport category of their choice.
“In another vein, I want to call on all and sundry to support the innovations in the Service to meet the evolving migration and security challenges. The Federal Government has approved the e-border project as part of the resolve to deploy technology at the borders. With the support
of partners, the Migrants Identification Data Analysis
System, MIDAS, is rapid rolled out at our entry points.”