IMPLICATIONS OF THE PASSPORT PROGRAMME IN NIGERIA


NEW PASSPORT PROGRAMME

The Nigerian government has launched a new set of travel passports with 5 and 10 years validity.

Recall that Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari and vice president Yemi Osinbajo were issued the 10-year Diplomatic passport by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) during the emergency Federal Executive Council (FEC) that was held on Tuesday, January 15, 2019. Nigeria’s interior minister, Abdulrahman Dambazau, who was assisted by the comptroller general of NIS, Mohammed Babandede presented the passport to Buhari and Osinbajo after their biometrics were captured and processed.

President Buhari had ordered that the validity of Nigerian passports issued in the country should be extended from 5 to 10 years in July 2018.
“He (Buhari) has approved 10-year validity for passports which is great news. When the report comes, passports will be valid for 10 years which is great news especially for adults from the age of 18 and above,” Comptroller general of NIS, Mohammed Babandede, said in July 2018.

Babandede, in October 2018, announced that the commencement for the issuance of the new Nigerian Passports including that with 10 years validity would begin in December 2018. In reality, issuance would begin in March 2019, starting in select locations (passport offices) across the country.

Babandede said asides the validity extension, the new passport has other 25 special features, differentiating it from the existing passports. He said the passport has polycarbonate technology that eliminates damages hence making it "weather friendly". He noted that the new passport programme is International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) compliant, possesses enhanced security features and save Nigerians in the Diaspora time of frequent visits to Nigerian Embassy among others”.


WHAT IS THE IMPLICATION?

Many Nigerians don't know this but this recent innovation will lead to a general hike in the cost of passports (including the one with 32 pages/5 years validity) with effect from March 4 starting in some states.

The Comptroller-General of Immigration Service highlighted on the "official" rates for the new passport as follows:

  • 32 pages and 5 years validity will cost N25,000 ($130 abroad);
  • 64 pages with 5 years validity will cost N35,000 ($150 abroad);
  • While the 64 pages with 10 years validity will cost N70,000 in Nigeria and $230 abroad.
He explained that the new passport would have features that could stand the test of time, adding that it would run concurrently with the old ones until the old (current one) passport programme completely phases out.

CONCLUSION 

By implication, citizens who are yet to procure an international passport of 32 pages/5 years validity will be required to pay more for the same facility under the auspices of the new passport programme with enhanced security features come March 4. It is therefore advisable that concerned citizens make haste to procure their travel passports now at the cheaper current rate.

HELP
For assistance on getting you connected with credible Nigeria Immigration officials in your city for consultation, CLICK HERE.

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