In a bid to improve the passport application for Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora, the federal government has launched what it describes as an enhanced e-Passport in the United Kingdom. This development was made public by Sola Fasure, the Media Adviser to Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola in a public statement on Tuesday, November 23, 2021.
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During the official rollout of the new e-Passport at the Nigerian High Commission in London, United Kingdom, Aregbesola stated that having a Nigerian passport is the highest affirmation of being a Nigerian citizen and noted that it is the duty of the federal government to ensure Nigerians are able to acquire passports without stress in a reasonable duration.
“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.’’
The minister went further to say that the government is aware of the challenges Nigerians face while trying to acquire their passports, and promised that the government will do better as there have been successes recorded already.
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“As we are all aware, there have been huge challenges to passport administration, from a 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 others 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.’’
Further, the minister revealed that the new passport is one of the safest in the world at the moment owing to more sophisticated security features which marks a significant improvement from the standard passport introduced in 2007. He also said that the government is aware of the fact that technology is playing a huge role globally and it is working really hard to keep up with the pace of things.
“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.’’
Aregbesola disclosed that under his tenure as minister of interior, the National Immigration Services in the space of two years has issued a total of 2.7 million passports to Nigerians.
Featured Image Source: The Sun NG
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