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Buhari passport 22

How delays from NIMC systems frustrated takeoff of 10-year passport scheme

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More facts have emerged on why the planned takeoff of new 10-year international passport regime failed to begin on March 4, 2019 as scheduled.
It would be recalled that the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has vide a tease statement issued Monday, cited the need to finalise integration of the National Identity Number (NIN) with the new passport, as the main reason for the postponement.
Though the statement signed by Mr. Sunday James, the Service Public Relations Officer (PRO), gave new takeoff date for the new 10-year enhanced e-passport as April 29, this year, undercover investigations at one of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) registration centres in Lagos showed that high level of errors and mismatch during collation of NIN registration data from some registration centres in Nigeria into the central database.
A source confided in Business Hilights that “Even the given new date may not work unless there is miracle in the resolution of the mix-up”.
“Apart from the delays frustrating takeoff of e-passport, the same problem is forcing government not to make NIN a mandatory document in accessing several government services as stated last year.
Further investigations revealed that apart from NIMC centres, there are several business centres carrying out the same enrollment for NIN without the tacit approval of NIMC but they are also collated into the NIMC database after all.
Besides, these business centres in many states including Lagos, charge between N500 and N1,000 from eligible Nigerians to register and get their NIN.
It was discovered that majority of NIN registration and documentation by these business centres cause serious confusion and challenges at the point of final integration into NIMC database.
However, due to the shift, NIS Comptroller-General, Muhammad Babandede, said consequent upon the shift in new date, the price of the current passport still remains the same.
The statement added that “Applicants are encouraged to visit our website for further information on fees payable and application process.”
It would be recalled that the new e-passport was officially launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 16.
The cost of the 32-page five-year standard passport stood at N25, 000, 64-page five-year standard passport, N 35,000, while the 64-page 10-year standard passport cost N70,000 and the 32-page five-year official passport is N15,000.
NIS revealed that the new passport has enormous advantages which include ten year validity, self-tracking application and express centers for urgent application.
Other advantages include weather friendliness, compliance with latest ICAO standard, poly-carbonate technology that reduces incidence of damage as well saving Nigerians in Diaspora time in hitherto frequent visits to Nigerian Embassies for the document.

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