The Federal Government has signed a government says printing the document locally would provide employment for Nigerians to acquire skills in passport production.
The federal government is embarking on the local production of the Nigerian international passport with the signing of a domestication Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Iris Smart Technology Limited, an indigenous company, and Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc.
The domestication entails that production of e-passport will be in Nigeria alone and will no longer be by foreigners, even though no official date was announced for the commencement of the local production.
Abdulrahman Dambazau, the Minister of Interior, said the process that led to signing of the MoU began two years ago. He explained that before the agreement, passport booklets were produced outside the country.
He enumerated the advantages of Nigeria producing the e-passport lovcally to include “protection of our data base,” generation of employment for Nigerians and opportunity for Nigerians to acquire skills in passport production as well as technological know-how in production of high quality passport booklets.
“We must ensure that we provide Nigerians with the best quality passport booklet because that is what Nigerians deserve,” he said.
Mohammed Babandede, Comptroller-General of Immigration, thanked the minister for ensuring that domestication of production of the passport was achieved.
He said Nigerian Immigration Service was the greatest beneficiary of the development and assured that the passport would be of high quality.
He stated that the first copy to be produced would be tested to ensure that it had the desired quality.
Abbas Masanawa, Managing Director, Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc, also commended the interior ministry for the initiative and efforts at seeing it through. He said the MoU signing was an epoch event in Nigeria, as “what is done outside the country can be done in Nigeria.”
He said Nigeria has the capacity to print passport locally since the Nigerian currency is printed locally. He added that not all African countries have the capacity to print their passports.
Masanawa assured that the team would not disappoint Nigerians. He said they would produce the passport that would compete with any passport in the world. fffffff ffff