The Federal Government has partnered with a leading ICT company in the country to launch a new enhanced electronic passport for Nigerians home and abroad.
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the disclosure in a statement dated Tuesday, November 23 which was issued by his Media Adviser, Sola Fasure.
According to the minister, the new technology was meant to tackle delays experienced by citizens when travelling in and out of the country.
He added that the electronic system will improve the passport application process for Nigerians at home and in the diaspora.
Speaking during the rollout of the passport at the Nigerian High Commission in London, United Kingdom, Aregbesola said it is the responsibility of the government to ease stress for its citizens when applying for passports.
The minister further explained that the features of the new enhanced Passport are a huge improvement from the standard Passport that was introduced back in 2007.
Aregbesola noted that it comes with even more sophisticated security features, making it one of the most secured passports in the world.
The statement titled, ‘FG launches Enhanced Passport In The UK’ read partly: “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 the 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.”
The statement continued, “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 that are in tandem with international best practices, including extant International Civil Aviation Organization’s Standards and Regulations”.