By Temitope Owotoki
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has begun the issuance of the new passport booklets with 10-year validity. The new passport was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in January.
Muhammad Babandede, Comptroller-General of the NIS, explaining that the new passport with 32 pages would cost N25,000 at home and $130 abroad, the 64-page document with five-year validity would cost N35,000 and $150 abroad, and the 64-page version with 10-year validity N70,000 in Nigeria and $230 abroad.
“The new passport reform programme is weather-friendly, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)-compliant.
“It has polycarbonate technology that eliminates damage, enhanced security features and save Nigerians in the Diaspora time of frequent visit to Nigerian Embassy among others,” Babandede had said.
Conducting journalists round the NIS headquarters in Abuja on Monday during the maiden issuance of the passport, Sunday James, Public Relations Officer of the NIS, said the new-look booklet is part of the Nigerian Government’s efforts to improve the quality and security of the travel document, while also reduce susceptibility to damage, and forgery.
James reiterated the NIS’s previous warnings that applicants would be denied passports without supplying their National Identification Number (NIN). He added that to make it easy for applicants, the NIS had provided space for National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) at the service headquarters, Abuja, to register applicants and issue them a NIN.
“The public are advised not to rush for the new booklet, as the new enhanced passport will run concurrently with the old one,” he said.
He said Babandede had directed passport offices at the state commands to continue to issue the old booklet, while only the service headquarters in Abuja would issue the new passport booklet.
He specifically said the enhanced polycarbonate booklet with 64 pages will be available in Ikoyi beginning from June 3, Alausa, Lagos from July 8, and London from July 29.