The Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede has expressed the optimism they stand to benefit more from the Presidential directive to domesticate production of e-passport with Nigeria Security, Printing and Minting Company.
Babandede who was confident that it would put an abrupt end to the incessant challenge of Passport booklet scarcity which has remained a major problem in passport administration, call on all the actors in the transition, including the Ministry of interior, to ensure a smooth one in other to avoid disrupting their operation.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday, through his Special adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, cancelled all e-passport printing contracts abroad, saying that it will now be the sole responsibility of the Nigerian Security Printing & Minting Company (NSPMC).
LEADERSHIP reports that by the new directive, all existing contracts concerning printing passports and other documents will not be renewed
Taking the audience through memory lane, the NIS Boss recalled that the Nigerian e-Passport was introduced in 2007 thereby, making Nigeria one of the few countries to adopt the technology and the security features recommended by ICAO.
He said, “Your excellency, some of the features are mandatory, and the individual document issuers adopted some features that are considered important in their national lives. The Nigerian passport does not only meet the recommendation, but exceeds it. Some of these features are overt while others are covert. A few of these features include: Security paper with security thread, Guilloche features and Tactile features.
Babandede said, the multiple laser Image with holder’s image and date of birth, Security Hologram in the data page, Data and features that can only be viewed under UV light among others are some that are unique to our passport.
He boasted that prominent among the features in the enhanced e-passport are the introduction of images of the Nigerian culture, tradition and landmarks. Some of these features can be seen in the visa pages. They include but are not limited to the following: The “Benin Mask” which is the symbol of FESTAC 77 (the face of Queen ldia of Benin), the mask is on every visa page in a collation setting for security purpose
Others are the Zuma Rock , the Argungu Festival , South Eastern Chief exchanging pleasantries , an Emir’s palace, Herdsmen and their Cattle, Dubar Festival ix., A traffic scene in Lagos , Fulani Milk maid, the Immigration Building in Abuja and the National Assembly
Among them are, The City Gate Abuja, An oil Rig, Efik dancers, Obudu Cattle ranch and A boat regatta as well as the popular Eyo masquerades
The CG stated that the process of adopting culture and tradition in National passports is the vogue among countries of the world today and Nigeria is a leading light in this regard. There are a few more features but they may not be discussed at this forum.
He said, “your Excellency, we are currently constructing the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved Technology Building, which also serve as a command and Control Centre.
It is therefore pertinent to state that after completion next year, the building Will enable the Service have a data sharing ecosystem where relevant agencies can access data of citizens and migrants real-time online. ”
The Comptroller General stated that the stone laying of the 7.2 billion Naira project was performed by the former Minister of Interior Lt. Gen AB. Dambazau rtd in January last year.
He said , “The Nigeria Immigration Service is committed to Promoting International best practices that will enhance ease of doing business while placing premium on national security. I would like to use this opportunity to thank Mr. President for the magnanimity and apt in approving projects that will bring succor to migrants and encourage non-Nigerians to live within the law. ”
” Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen together with my powerful, dedicated and committed officer, I am proud to state that we have transformed this Service to a modern, effective and motivated force.”
” On this note, let me on behalf of the Officers and Men of the Nigeria Immigration Service express my sincere gratitude to Mr. President for the various approvals that have culminated into all the projects that can be seen around the premises. Posterity will remember you, the Nigeria Immigration Service and indeed the whole nation will celebrate you.”
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