NIS rolls out New passport in April, harmonizes data with NIMC

NIS Comptroller General, Mohammed Babandede

……..urges NANTA to integrate data with the Service

The Nigeria Immigration Service says it is creating an express center for those in urgent need of passport.
This is just as the Service says it has successfully introduced the use of biometric visas in about 15 missions across the world.

Speaking at the just concluded 43rd Annual General Meeting of the National Association of Travel Agencies in Nigeria, NANTA at the Shell MUSON center in Lagos, the Comptroller Genera Immigration, Mohammed Babandede said the express center was to cater to those who want quick service for the issuance of the passport, adding that with the introduction of the new e-passport of 10 years validity, it would save them from the stress of coming back to either get new passport or renewal done.
Babandede represented by the Comptroller Zone A, Lagos, Mohhamed Alhassan, said people now have a choice to chose from the three categories of passport recently launched by the President which include 32 pages and 64 pages valid for 5 and 10 years at a different cost.

“We are going to have 32 pages with 5 years validity at the cost of N25,000, there will also be 64 pages with 5 years validity at the cost of N35,000, we also have 64 pages of 10 years validity at the cost of N70,000. You can see the service has brought increased pages in the passport because its 64 pages, it’s like a 2 passport in one because 32 plus 32 gives you 64 pages, 5 plus 5 gives you 10 years, so it’s a two passport you are holding in one that is why it is N70,000 so there is no increase, each and everyone is free to chose whether he will take the 5 years 32 pages or 64 pages 5 years or if you are a regular traveler or staying abroad because you do not need to be coming back home to process your passport due to the fact most of our passport offices in some many countries of the world we only have limited countries where we provide passport there that is the reason why, the NIS decided to use the 10 years validity to ease the problem of our people that stays abroad and secondly, ease the problem of our regular travelers that travel a lot instead of every time they are coming to the service for the renewal of their passport”.

He stated that the new passport which was slated to be rolled out in March would now be rolled out in April due to administrative challenges.

According to him, the delay was due to the harmonization of data with the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC as directed by the Federal Government.

“This new passport, hopefully by next month it will be rolled out, it would have been rolled out but just because of administrative challenges we have because we wanted to introduce National Identification Number into the passport because the FG has directed that all data should be harmonized, so we have to harmonized out data with the National Identity Management so that’s why we delay it as we are trying to harmonize the National Identity Data that’s why we could not roll it out, hopefully by next month it will be rolled out”.

“The new international passport that will soon be introduced has a lot of security enhancement features, you know it’s one of the ICAOs standards that the NIS opted to use e-passport. Am glad to say, that Nigeria is one of the topmost countries to introduce e-passport all over the world, And with the introduction of the e-passport, it has reduced the burden and the huddles must Nigerians encounter whenever they travel abroad because our previous passport does not contain the much desired security features to be accepted comfortably all over the world, am glad with the introduction of the e-passport that has been a forgone issue.
With the introduction of the new passport we are trying to bring in which has a lot of security features in it because you know whenever you are doing anything, you have to be ahead of this ICT people, if you are not ahead, they will catch up with you, so we are already ahead of them before they catch up with the e-passport, we have already gone far, we would have improved the security of this passport” he added

The NIS boss explained that the new passport had security features more than the old one, “ Also, the passport is going to be weather friendly, complies with the ICAO standards and it is also pro-carbonate, that is, it is not easily pro to damage unlike our previous passport. We discovered that it is prone to damage easily but this one the improved features are very good cannot easily be damaged. We also have enhanced security measures, saves our Nigerians in the diaspora of the problem of coming back home to obtain their passport”.

He commended NANTA for introducing for the initiative of an identification card tagged, the National Travel Practitioners Identification Card, NTPIC, for its members and reduce to the barest the incidences of fraud by fraudulent travel agents.
Babandede urged the Association to put plans in place toward integrating its data with the NIS for proper identification and for seamless activities.

“And we are hoping that very soon NANTA will integrate its data with our data, so that each and everyone a single data and you can use any one of them, by the time it is harmonized, you can use anyone of them whether it is the ID because it is verifiable because it is going to provide your real identity. I want to assure NANTA that the NIS is ready and willing to work and partner with NANTA in all your activities”.

He added, “NIS has always been an E-organization and we are happy that NANTA has also introduced the NTPIC card for their own members which is a good development and very soon like I said, the FG is of the view that all agencies has to harmonize their data and each and every individual is expected to maintain one identity”.


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