Jonathan launches new e-passport, asks Nigerians to promote country’s image

The president launched the new 64-page e-Passport

President Goodluck Jonathan has urged immigration officials to improve on their services to visitors and travelers at the airports, as they represent the first image of the country. He also urged all Nigerians to speak well of the country.

Speaking at the launch of the new 64-page e-passport at the council chambers of the Presidential Villa, the President also noted that if the immigration officers conduct themselves poorly, it would reflect on the country.

“What affects every traveler is how efficient and committed our immigration officers work at our airports,” the president said. “Visitors that come into the country have different impressions about our immigration officers, so they must improve; they are the image of this country. How they handle visitors matters so much, if they conduct themselves poorly, it reflects on all of us.”

He said the new 64-page e-passport is specially designed for frequent travelers as well as business persons.

Speaking at the event which held shortly before the weekly meeting of the Executive Council of the Federation, FEC, the president also urged Nigerians to paint good pictures of their country so that others would see it in the same light.

“The issue of the image of the country is what we will all work for, both people in government, the media and civil society and I always say that when people continue to paint their country with all kinds of colours, that is the way they will associate those colours with your green passport.

“I want a situation that whenever you travel to another country and you raise your green passport, people will appreciate you and not when you raise your green passport, people will begin to think that that green passport signify some suspicious character.

“We are not helping ourselves when we paint ourselves the colours that we are (not) supposed to bear. I wish to continue to appeal to all Nigerians that we must all collectively learn how we do our things, statements that we make, to paint brighter colours for our green passport” he said.

The President added that the security of the Nigerian travel document was very important.
“If our passport could be easily faked by criminals, then we will have problems. One thing again is that how can Nigerians be able to get passport easily especially those living outside this country,” he said.

Mr. Jonathan said the federal government would look into ways that the country would form a robust relationship with key countries so that some of the frequent Nigerian travellers may not need visas to travel.

In his remarks, the minister of interior, Abba Moro, said with the inception of the e-passport in 2007, Nigeria became the pioneer country in Africa and the 50th in the world to commence the use of the electronic passport with enhanced security features.

He also said the on-going e-Passport Intervention Exercise, “is a clear demonstration of Government’s deliberate commitment towards entrenching seamless service delivery to Nigerians wherever they are found.

“In order to further secure the integrity of the e-passport and enhance its quality, the Federal Government has approved the following major reforms with its attendant cost implications”.

The 64 page e-passport will cost N20,000. The e-Passport for those below 18 years will cost N8,750, while those from 18-60 years will pay N15,000 for the e-passport. Those aged 60 years and above will pay N8,750 for the passport. Change of data or of loss of passport will attract N20,000.

Change of name as a result of marriage, divorce and deceased spouse will cost N8,750, while change of data on request will attract a processing fee of N30,000.

Giving the advantages of the new 64-page e-passport, the minister noted that it would enhance the integrity of the Nigerian travel document, as it takes care of low income earners and the aged, accommodates frequent travelers, forestalls identity theft, and conforms to international best practices.

Briefing journalists after the launch, the Comptroller General, Nigerian Immigration Service, David Paradang, explained that the new e-passport is a special demand for only frequent travelers while the 32-page e-passport is the normal passport.

He noted that the high cost for those who want to change data is to avoid fraudulent demands. He also said the expiry date for the new passport will remain five years and those whose passports are about to expire can begin to apply for the new e-passport by the 1st of August.


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  • Dop Love

    The government should also consider increasing the validity to 10 years.

    • Iyke Gazzy

      Extending the Validity will increase fraud my friend….. People will use someone else’s passport claiming it was them 10years ago…

      • be bzz

        thank u very much for us nigerian outside the country we have to fly all the way back home because nigerian embassy aboard do not function 10 years makes more sense

      • onojaobe

        But the fingerprint is one. 10yrs will not cause fraud. If you put your passport closed, in a screening machine and put your thumb, your face will show.

  • Jonathan Onche Edeh

    NIGERIA IMMIGRATION AND ITS DYSFUNCTIONAL PASSPORT SERVICES

    With a confirmed poor e-passport service by the Nigeria Immigration Service, yet the President introduces
    new reforms to the passport services that now leave most of us wondering if the
    president’s action is a total assault on the livelihood of the average Nigerian
    who is yet to afford a three square meal a day, or a clandestine operation at
    reimbursing the pockets of some key political figures, a way of repaying
    someone for a job well done. Prior to the 50% increment on the e-passport fee
    of eight thousand seven hundred and fifty Naira for on-line payment, with an
    additional four to six thousand Naira at the passport offices spread across the
    nation, which is said to be for the State, while the former charges is for the
    Federal government, most Nigerians couldn’t at least afford the charges for the
    travel document, and had to rely on someone to foot the bills. Consequently,
    the presidential act validates the fact that the average and poor Nigerians,
    who make up a hundred and twenty million of our entire population of one
    hundred and sixty million, were not considered in this new reform, as in the
    president’s own words; “The new 64-page e-passport is specially designed for
    frequent travelers as well as business persons.”

    But why is it called e-passport in the first place; primarily, for easy and speedy access and documentation
    of credible individual traveling data across the borders of the nations, with on-hand
    advantages to the authorities. However, the process of obtaining an e-passport
    in Nigeria is a current nightmare, especially for those who have no one to help
    pull the strings after a bribe, or maybe a tip. Again, we are witnesses to a
    system that has been continuously undermined by corruption, nepotism, tribalism
    and religiosity, just to mention a few. Such was my experience at the Kaduna
    State passport office, where I went to on 30th July 2014 to obtain
    the traveling document which took me three days to obtain. Most e-passport
    seekers like me were left frustrated and disappointed at the poor performance,
    wondering when things will ever get better in Nigeria; when an average Nigerian
    or “no body” could stroll into any government institution and easily obtain a
    required document without been exploited or taken advantage of. It was
    disappointing to note that I had virtually wasted my time by starting the
    process of my registration online, where I had indeed satisfied all
    requirements and was only required to proceed to the passport office of my
    choice with the necessary documents, for issuance. But on my arrival, it came
    to me as a major blow when I realized I had to make an additional payment of
    four thousand Naira which was said to be for the State, while the on-line
    payment was for the Federal Government, I then wondered why I had to be charged
    for State payment by a federal Government institution, besides neither me or other
    Nigerians there were issued receipts to that effect, which gave me the impression
    that someone at the upper echelons of the Immigration Service was aware of the on
    going systemic corruption, and if at all I were to be charged for it, why
    wasn’t it covered in the general payment, and shouldn’t the Immigration Service
    be the one paying taxes to the State from its generated revenue. As if that was
    not enough, like many others, I was put through the rigours of an unnecessary
    process, which prompted the question on why I had to do an online registration and
    payment in the first place. The processes ranged from Collection of necessary
    documents, Minuting, Approval, Enrollment, Capturing and Documentation. But
    obviously and interestingly, these processes exposed the magnitude of a
    man-made dysfunctional system, which gave room for the existence of unwarranted
    positions and redundant Immigration personnel’s, who from my observation were
    all involved in the e-passport business. You could hear it said around; where
    is your applicant’s file, thereby making the whole process less efficient
    considering the fact that any Immigration personnel with or without a uniform could
    walk in from his or her office, department or where-about to alter and swap
    waiting files for capturing, all to the chagrin and dismay of those waiting in
    line for days and more.

    With a large pool of persons waiting in line for Enrollment, that is the process of entering
    individual information on the system, which I suppose was a core reason why
    there had to be an online registration in the first place, the passport office
    in its undermining role had only two old computers for over a hundred files,
    and a crippling snail like internet service that should supposedly be the best
    in the country. While for the Capturing Process, the same two old like
    computers, when there should have been at least seven brand new latest versions
    of Apple or Dell computers for the capturing purpose to speed up and facilitate
    a smooth issuing process, complemented with a safety risk (in case of a fire outbreak)
    of piled up files at the two ends of the corridors, not to mention other room-full
    of those needless papers. The point is, when one considers the problems crippling
    the system and the e-passport issuing process, which shouldn’t take more than
    fifteen minutes of ones time, one then wonders why the government incessantly
    fails to come up with effective measures to improve the passport service of the
    Nigeria Immigration Service, but dares to come up with reforms that causes more
    hardship and less comfort for most Nigerians. Obviously, the minister of the federal
    ministry of Interior, Abba Moro is bent on generating more money for himself or
    someone in the corridors of power, and hasn’t learned any lessons from his act
    of impunity in the death of some innocent Nigerians during the immigration
    recruitment exercise in March 2014. Therefore, suffice it to say that, if as the
    president has said in his speech on the launching of the new 64 page e-passport;
    “Visitors that come into the country have different impressions about our immigration officers, so they must
    improve; they are the image of this country. How they handle visitors matters
    so much, if they conduct themselves poorly, it reflects on all of us.” It is
    also paramount that Nigerians at home are treated with respect, and given the
    necessary and best support in obtaining any desired services from the Nigeria
    Immigration Service, or any other government, private or public institution.
    Anything less than this would reflect poorly on the country’s image regardless
    of how well Immigration personnel’s put up improved performances to deceive
    foreigners on its dysfunctional system, that got a young man at the Kaduna
    passport service screaming at the top of his voice that “common Ghana’s
    passport services is more efficient than Nigeria’s.” I add; we must improve on what
    is presently available, like improving the Nigeria police force than agitating
    for State police. As it is overly necessary that the system is overhauled to
    get it more functional, effective and productive, than the introduction of political
    moves or reforms that doesn’t in anyway improve the system and lives of the common
    man, or average Nigerian.

    • Iyke Gazzy

      Mr Jonathan Onche Edeh you need to run your own Newspaper… Though your points are clear and onpoint. The Nigerian government is not trying especially within Nigeria… But in most cases the Jonathan administration has changed or basically upgraded alot especially in the international community.