By Favour Nnabugwu
Miniter of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola yesterday, commissioned a new Passport Issuing facility that would offer the 10-year validity Passport to Nigerians at the Nigerian High Commission in London, the United Kingdom.
With the facility, eligible applicants can now have access to a variety of options available on the enhanced e-Passport categories including: The five-year, 32-page Passport category; the five-year, 64-page category and the ten- year, 64-page category.
Speaking at the event, the Minister stated that the enhanced e-Passport is a great improvement of the standard e-Passport introduced in 2007 and that the enhanced e-Passport has more sophisticated security features making it one of the most secured Passports in the world.
The enhanced e-Passport he stressed, “comes in polycarbonate data page and with this, Nigeria is at the highest level of Passport security and integrity in the world”.
He assured government’s readiness to continue to provide Passports to eligible applicants without stress and within a reasonable period noting that efforts are being made to resolve all the problems associated with Passport administration and issuance across all Centres.
The Minister revealed that the Nigeria Immigration Service has issued a total of 2.7 million Passports to Nigerians in the past two years including the deployment of over 600,000 booklets, this year alone to address rising demand for the document.
He thanked the officials of the High Commission for their commitment to quality service delivery and urged for a deepened engagement with the diaspora population.
In his remarks, the acting Comptroller General of Immigration Service, Isah Jere Idris, affirmed the commitment of the Service to meet the rising demands for Passport services in London and advised prospective applicants to visit the Service’s official website (immigration.gov.ng) to apply and pay for the Passport category of their choice.
He enjoined those who have any complaints, to use available complaints channels to resolve any issues assuring that his Officers are professionals and would continue to deliver excellent services to our citizens.
The event was attended by the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola, the Minister of Interior, the acting Comptroller General of Immigration, senior officials of the High Commission, a cross section of Nigerians in the United Kingdom and members of the diplomatic community.