By Ismaila Chafe —
President Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday received a new 10-year Diplomatic Passport by the Nigeria Immigration service (NIS) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the officials of NIS had earlier captured the biometrics of the President and his vice, shortly before the commencement of an extraordinary meeting’ of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, assisted by the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammed Babandede, later presented the new passports to the president and his vice after the Council meeting.
Speaking to State House correspondents, Dambazau, who narrated the origin and history of passport in Nigeria, stated that apart from the 10-year validity, the new passport had an enhanced and self-tracking application.
According to the minister, the new passport meets the specifications of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
“Now, things are dynamic and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) also brought up additional security features, which we have to comply with as early as possible for various reasons.
“We have series of cross border issues to deal with and series of challenges in terms of border security and management and one of the best ways to do that in addition to bio-metrics, is to ensure that our passport contains all these security features,’’ he added.
According to him, the passport is weather friendly and has polycarbonate technology, which eliminates damage, it also saves Nigerians in diaspora the time needed to frequently visit Nigerian embassies in search of new passports.
In his contribution, Babandede said the Immigration service had in October 2018 announced that Nigeria would begin using the new passport by December 2018.
He expressed optimism that the security features in the new passport would raise the standard of the document, adding that President Buhari would soon launch the passport.
According to Babandede, the new 32-booklet standard passport will cost N25, 000 and 130 dollars abroad, while 64-booklet passport with five years validity will cost N35, 000 and 150 dollars abroad.
He explained that the 64-booklet passport with 10-year validity will cost N70, 000 in Nigeria and 230 dollars abroad.
He said the diplomatic passport, which is free of charge, is meant for members of the diplomatic corps and is owned for life by serving or former presidents of the country.
The NIS boss also said that the old passport remained valid. (NAN)