The Nigeria Immigration Service on Wednesday said it had started the issuance of the new enhanced e-passport to Nigerians.
The Comptroller-General of the NIS, Muhammad Babandede, at the commencement and issuance of the new enhanced passport in Lagos, said global compliance necessitated the move.
Babandede, who was represented by the Comptroller of Immigration, Passport Office, Zone A, Lagos, Helen Nwazurike, said the NIS was doing a lot of reforms to ensure that the Nigerian passport was respected globally.
“We are doing a lot of reforms in NIS and this includes the Nigerian passport. We want our passport to be globally compliance like other nations, we want to make sure our passports are well respected wherever they are taken to; we want to make sure that when we travel with our passport it is recognised.
“The enhanced e-passport is an improved version of the existing e-passport. The technology behind this passport is the most recent in terms of security features and biometrics according to the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. One of the most significant differences between the passport we are rolling out and the existing one is the supplemented access control,”(sic) he said.
The Comptroller-General of the NIS added that another notable difference between the enhanced e-passport and the existing one was the polycarbonate data page.
“The enhanced e-passport is water-resistant; it has another security feature called the multiple laser image which is an added security that guards against forgery. The new enhanced e-passport comes in three standard variants; the 32-page with five-year validity, the 64-page with five-year validity, and the 64-page with 10-year validity. There is also the 32-page five-year official passport, and the five-year diplomatic variant,” Babandede said.
The Comptroller of Immigration, Lagos Command, Ekpedeme King, who was represented by the Deputy Comptroller, Immigration, Patrick Ekuri, said the rollout of the enhanced e-passport was a response to the Federal Government’s directive and the resolve of the Comptroller-General to reposition and improve passport issuance in the country.