Interior Minister inspects E- verification gates for enhanced security, travel experience

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By Palma Ileye

As part of a comprehensive strategy to bolster internal security and streamline the arrival experience for Nigerians entering the country, the Minister of Interior, Hon. Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo has inspected the ongoing installation of E-verification gates at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

Tunji-Ojo yesterday led a delegation from the Ministry to inspect the ongoing installation of E-verification gates at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

He stated that these state-of-the-art E-verification gates were a major component of the E-Immigration project, aimed at modernizing and optimising immigration processes across Nigeria’s airports.

He said, “Nigerians will no longer be at the mercy of Immigration Officers.”

Notably, four out of the planned 10 gates have already been installed at the Abuja airport. It is expected that the remaining six gates will be operational before the end of the month.

Expressing satisfaction with the progress made thus far, he emphasized the crucial role of these E-verification gates in reducing waiting times for arriving passengers.

He commended the impressive clearance time of 30 seconds per individual saying that the gates were set to establish a new standard for efficiency in airport processing, comparable to global benchmarks.

“With an impressive clearance time of just 30 seconds per individual, the gates are set to establish a new standard for efficiency in airport processing, comparable to global benchmarks,” the Minister said.

He further stressed the transformative impact of this investment, noting that it will significantly enhance national security by providing an additional layer of scrutiny for inbound travelers.

“Through advanced biometric scanning and automated flagging systems, the gates will swiftly identify individuals of interest or those on watchlists, bolstering the efforts of the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, to safeguard the nation’s borders,” he said.

During the inspection, the Interior Minister also assessed the progress of construction and installation work at the Command-and-Control Centre and border control data center, both housed within the NIS Headquarters.

He commended the NIS for exceeding 70 per cent completion on these critical infrastructure projects, affirming the agency’s commitment to adopting cutting-edge technology for operational efficiency and security enhancement.

The project aims to deliver a total of 40 E-verification gates across multiple airports by the end of the first quarter. These installations will include 10 gates in Abuja, 17 in Lagos, five in Kano, and four each in Enugu and Port-Harcourt.

Accompanying Dr. Tunji-Ojo on this inspection were top officials from the Ministry, including Permanent Secretary Dr. Aishetu Gogo Ndayako, Director of Joint Services Dr. Peter Egbodo, and Director of Press and Public Relations, Mr. Ozoya Imohimi.

With these transformative initiatives, Nigeria is poised to enhance border security, streamline immigration processes, and provide travelers with a safer, more efficient travel experience.

“Nigerians will soon be able to sleep with their two eyes closed, knowing fully well that their borders are well protected, and the Nigerian state is secured,” Tunji-Ojo assured.