The Federal Government has rolled out the 64-page 10-year validity enhanced Passport in Canada, The Nation gathered in Abuja.
It said Nigerians living in Canada would henceforth have access to the passport as the government inaugurated the Central Passport Production Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who inaugurated the Centre said Nigeria is among the first five countries in the world to have this enhanced passport and the first in Africa.
“The enhanced version we are presenting is the latest technology in identity documentation. It comes with additional security and in various categories, including the 64-page-10-year validity Passport which is quite convenient for frequent travellers.
“It is a product of the latest technology in passport administration and issuance. Only very few countries in the world can boast of it as of today.
” Indeed, Nigeria is among the first five countries in the world and the first in Africa to have this enhanced e-passport. The document is of higher grade with additional 25 security features than the one currently in use. It is polycarbonate in design and therefore water-resistant. It cannot be compromised by counterfeiters and identity thieves,” Aregbesola asserted.
A statement by the Minister’s spokesman, Sola Fasure, quoted the Minister as saying that with the enhanced Passport “Nigerians can now apply, pay and book appointment online directly from the Nigeria Immigration Service Portal.”
Aregbesola said: “It is important that all applicants go through the Nigeria Immigration Service portal and follow the protocol laid down, pay the right fee and go for biometric data capture on the stipulated date. The waiting period after data capture for fresh applications is six weeks and three weeks for renewal.
“This timeline is to enable NIS verify and validate the claims of applicants and confer integrity on the passport issued. It is a reasonable provision in passport administration by global standards.
“It is important also that your details with NIN sync with the data on your application. Any discrepancy will stall your application until it is corrected. The order of appearance of the applicant’s name especially has been an albatross for many.
“We have introduced a tracking mechanism in the application process, to enable applicants to monitor the progress of their application. We shall continue to introduce necessary and available innovations to passport administration in order to best serve applicants in our quest for establishing citizenship integrity”, the Minister stated.
According to the statement, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada, Mr. Adeyinka Asekun, commended the Minister and the Acting Comptroller General of Immigration, Isah Idris Jere, for their commitment to the launch of the enhanced passport in Canada.
Jere noted that until all applications on the old platforms are cleared, the Passport Issuing Desk in Canada will continue to issue both documents concurrently.
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