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Thursday, 31 July 2014

President Goodluck Jonathan Launches 64-Page Nigerian E-Passport

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PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday launched the new 64-page Nigerian e-passport designed for frequent travellers as part of efforts to ameliorate their sufferings.
The document, to be issued to deserving Nigerians ,will operate concurrently with the existing 32-page e-passport.

Performing the launch shortly before the commencement of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the President called on the Nigerian Immigration Service to be more efficient and committed to their duty in order give a better impression to visitors to the country.
He also charged them to do what is necessary to end the complaints of Nigerians abroad by making it easier for them to get Nigerian passports.
The President and Vice President Namadi Sambo were immediately issued with the new documents at the ceremony.
Jonathan said: “I always sympathize with those who travel almost on a weekly basis, changing passport every month. At least, we have moved a step forward. The key thing is for us to have a robust relationship with key countries so that some of these frequent travelers may not need visas. That will really help us more.
“One thing one must know today is that it is not the issue of 64-page passport that is key to Nigerians but the security. 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.
“When I travel, there is this complaint about how to get the Nigerian passport, not necessarily the issue of 64-page passport but how do they get passport. So, the ministry must look into this.”
Stressing the need for Immigrations officers to be up and doing in their duties, the President noted that “what affects every traveler is how efficient and committed our immigration officers work at our airports. 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. So, their conduct at the airports are key besides the passport.”
President Jonathan similarly called on all Nigerians to be conscious of the image of the country and work towards enhancing it.
He added: “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 signifies some suspicious character.
“We are not helping ourselves when we paint ourselves in 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.”
In his remarks, the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, explained that the new e-passport is part of government’s commitment to give seamless service delivery to Nigerians wherever they are.
According to him “the introduction of the 64-page Nigerian e-passport which is being launched today is to say the least a demand driven initiative to meet the needs of frequent Nigerian travelers.
“Based on some recommendations arising from the operational experiences of the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Ministry of Interior recently approved some reforms concerning the Nigerian e-Passport, including the newly introduced 64-page.”
“The fundamental rationale behind the Reforms is to enhance the integrity of Nigerian Travel Documents and the image of the Nigerian traveller anywhere in the world,” he added.
Briefing State House correspondents, the Comptroller General of Immigration, David Parradang said that the 64-page passport will be valid for five years before renewal, adding that the 64-page passport will officially be issued to the public from1st of August, 2014.

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