The Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, has unveiled enhanced e-passport facility and inaugurated passport production centre in Benin, Edo State.
This is as the Comptroller General of the NIS, Isah Jere Idris, spoke on the efforts and commitment to enhance the process of applying and obtaining passports in general.
He said with the unveiling of the facility, Edo and Delta had joined other states in the south east and south west including London that had been successfully migrated to the enhanced electronic Passport regime.
He said that it was the NIS’ desire that in no distance time all issuing centres would be fully migrated to the enhanced e-Passport regime.
The statement of the NIS Comptroller General reads:
It is my pleasure to welcome you all to this event which is another effort by the Service to deepen our Passport administration and issuance reform efforts. We are in this beautiful city of Benin City today to unveil the enhanced ePassport and commission the central Passport Production Centre for Edo and Delta States.
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- The enhanced ePassport facility we are unveiling here is one of such efforts to transform the entire Passport process and offer improved options to applicants in this part of the country. We are certainly not unaware of the challenges being experienced by prospective applicants across our Passport Offices in recent times but we are reassured that the various efforts being emplaced such as his, are capable of frontally addressing the challenges for the emergence of a more seamless Passport application and processing process.
- With the unveiling of this project today, it is certain that cases of delays in processing Passports will be taken care of provided that applicants are willing to abide strictly with the application and processing guidelines and requirements.
The enhanced ePassport is quite unique and comes in three categories and this gives opportunity for applicants to make choices. The categories include:
(i). the 32-page Five-year validity category;
(ii). the 64-pge Five-year validity category and;
(iii).64-page Ten-year validity category.
- It is of polycarbonate technology and has additional 25 security features over the current electronic Passport. The polycarbonate data page is water-resistant. It is the latest Passport technology, very durable and user-friendly. It is difficult to forge as the improved security features will make any attempt not only impossible but also easily noticeable. Nigeria is the first country in Africa to migrate to this type of Passport. Suffice I quickly mention that the enhanced ePassport and the ordinary electronic Passport are both running currently until at a convenient time when all our Centres are fully migrated to the former.
- Therefore, with the unveiling of this facility today, Edo and Delta States have joined other States in the south east and south west including London that have been successfully migrated to the enhanced electronic Passport regime. It is our desire that in no distance time all our issuing Centres will be full migrated to the enhanced ePassport regime.
- A significant aspect of this event I must state is the commissioning of a centralized Passport production Centre in this premises which shall take care of all Passport production activities of all the various Passport Offices in our Passport Offices in Benin City here, Asaba and Warri. The purpose is to have a much more coordinated Passport production process that is expected to increase the rate of delivery.
- It is our desire that this arrangement will not only eliminate duplication of efforts but also impact on the speed of job delivery. With the superb electronic linkage of all the Enrollment Centres to this centralized production facility in Benin City we have enabled in this premises, a process that would allow for the seamless electronic transmission of all validly enrolled Passport applications from all the Passport Centres in these two States for production at this Centre.
We shall continue to ensure that we abide by the Six weeks processing timeline for fresh applications while renewal applications will be treated within three weeks. To this effect we advise applicants to turn in their applications on time online and book their appointment dates for enrollment to avoid last minute rush as we shall not entertain requests for waivers of appointment dates. Applicants are also reminded that the National Identity Number (NIN) is mandatory to apply and procure the enhanced ePassport and so should ensure that they have same before applying for the enhanced ePassport.
In these Centres, we shall adhere strictly to attending to applicants purely based on appointments. Suffice I reiterate that we do not accept cash payments for Passport application processes and so hereby advise applicants not to give any cash payments to anyone for the purpose of procuring Passports.
- As we unveil this facility, I must assure all applicants that have been enrolled before now that we are making huge efforts to ensure that their Passports are produced sooner. We have started clearing the backlog of about15000 applications in the three locations and soon applicants shall begin to receive SMS notifications inviting them to come for collection of their Passports. We remained committed to any reform efforts that will make the process of procuring Passport a lot easier and hereby appeal to applicants to ensure that they visit our application portal passport.immigration.gov.ng to apply and pay for the Passport category of their choice.
- As parts of efforts to demonstrate our commitment to serve our publics better, we enjoin members of the public who have any complaints or enquiries to make to contact us via the following:
(i). Twitter. …. @nigimmigration;
(ii). Facebook. [email protected];
(iv). Instagram…Nigeria immigration-service;
(v). www.immigration.gov.ng to interact and chat with our virtual assistant;
(vi). or better still call +2348021819988
- I will not end this speech without appreciating the good efforts so far demonstrated by our Minister, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in our success story. He has continued to show strong leadership and uncommon support to the NIS. We sincerely thank him for that.
Let me also thank the governments and good people of Edo and Delta States for their enormous supports to our activities and operations in the States. I have good reports of excellent supports the governments and the traditional institutions in the two States have continued to extend to my agency. We do not take these for granted. We sincerely appreciate these gestures.
12. I thank you all particularly those who left other important engagements to join us here. I thank the members of the Press for their consistent understanding and good reportage of our activities. I thank you all.