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FG rolls out enhanced e-Passport

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The federal government, on Tuesday, rolled out the new enhanced e-Passport and commissioned the Central Passport Production Centre (CPPC) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, to enable Nigerians living in the North American country to have access to the highly coveted 64-page 10-year validity passport.

A statement by the media adviser to the Minister of Interior, Sola Fasure, quoted the Minister, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, as saying that Nigeria is among the first five countries in the world to have this enhanced passport and the first in Africa.

“The enhanced version we are presenting is the latest technology in identity documentation. It comes with additional security and in various categories, including the 64-page-10-year validity Passport which is quite convenient for frequent travellers.

“It is a product of the latest technology in passport administration and issuance. Only very few countries in the world can boast of it today.

“Indeed, Nigeria is among the first five countries in the world and the first in Africa to have this enhanced e-passport,” Aregbesola said.

The minister further revealed that the document is of higher grade with additional 25 security features than the one currently in use.

“It is polycarbonate in design and therefore water-resistant. It cannot be compromised by counterfeiters and identity thieves,” he added.

He commended the Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada for his commitment to ensuring that Canada has its own passport production centre, stating that with the new enhanced passport, Nigerians will now apply, pay and book appointments online directly from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Portal.

“It is important that all applicants go through the Nigeria Immigration Service portal and follow the protocol laid down, pay the right fee and go for biometric data capture on the stipulated date.

“The waiting period after data capture for fresh application is six weeks and three weeks for renewal. This timeline is to enable NIS to verify and validate the claims of applicants and confer integrity on the passport issued. It is a reasonable provision in passport administration by global standards.

“It is important also that your details with NIN sync with the data on your application. Any discrepancy will stall your application until it is corrected. The order of appearance of the applicant’s name especially has been an albatross for many.

“We have introduced a tracking mechanism in the application process, to enable applicants to monitor the progress of their application. We shall continue to introduce necessary and available innovations to passport administration in order to best serve applicants in our quest for establishing citizenship integrity,” the Minister stated.

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