The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola has announced that the federal government has launched a new enhanced electronic passport to improve passport application process for Nigerians at home and in diaspora.
Aregbesola, who spoke on Tuesday during the rollout of passport at the Nigerian High Commission in London, United Kingdom, said that the passport is the highest affirmation of Nigerian citizenship.
In a statement titled, “FG launches Enhanced Passport In The UK,” issued by his Media Adviser, Sola Fasure, the Minister said it is the responsibility of the government to provide the passport without stress within a reasonable period.
The statement partly reads, “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 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 to passport administration, from 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 roll 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 was quoted to have said that, it is 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.
He added, “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.”
Aregbesola said the reforms are in tandem with international best practices, including extant International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Standards and Regulations.
KanyiDaily recalls that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) had warned that Nigerians who fail to link their NIN and SIM would be denied acquisition of driving licences, passports and other important services.