18 November 2012

Nigeria: E-Passport - Interior Ministry Cautions Nigerians in Diaspora

London — Mrs Anastasia Daniel-Nwabia, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, on Sunday expressed concern over the increasing claim of loss of e-passport by Nigerians in the Diaspora.

Daniel Nwabia said this in an interview with the Western Europe correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during a monitoring visit to London.

"The loss of the e-passport is one of the major problems we are having; it forms about 90 per cent rejection of applicants. if you lose your passport you must convince the officials before it can be re-issued."

She called for caution in the use of the electronic document, describing it as "sensitive".

"The e-passport has controlled the issue of duplication; and if you have running visas on the lost passport, you have to get new visas on the re-issued passport."

Daniel-Nwabia, who had earlier visited South Africa and the U.S., said the response of applicants seeking the document was impressive.

"We were also in South Africa and a lot of people turned up to get the e-passport."

She said many Nigerians in the Diaspora had been issued with the e-passport since the expiration of the machine- readable passport last year.

The permanent secretary said that bio-metric security features on the passport, the issue of abuse had been stamped out.

NAN recalls that the Nigerian Immigration Service introduced the e-passport in 2007 to check the growing cases of forgery and duplication of the old passport.


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