The ministry has cautioned Nigerians living abroad.
The Ministry of Interior says it views with great concern the increasing claims of loss of e-passport by Nigerians in the Diaspora.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Anastasia Daniel-Nwabia, said on Sunday during a monitoring visit to London that this has been identified as the main reason behind the rejection of passport applications by Nigerians in embassies.
“The loss of the e-passport is one of the major problems we are having,” she said. “It forms about 90 per cent rejection of applicants. If you lose your passport, you must convince the officials at the embassies before a new one could be re-issued.”
She called for caution in the use of the electronic document, describing it as “sensitive”, pointing out that the e-passport has controlled the issue of duplication and fraud.
“If you have running visas on the lost passport, you have to get new visas on the re-issued passport,” she said.
Ms. 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.
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 with the biometric security features on the passport, the issue of abuse had been stamped out.
The Nigerian Immigration Service introduced the e-passport in 2007 to check the growing cases of forgery and duplication of the old passport.