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Malaysia loses out in Nigerian Passport production as local firm, IST takes over

Barring any last minute summersault, the era of minting and packaging all Nigerian Passport booklets from a Malaysian company is coming to an end.
This is coming on the backdrop of a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), sealed between the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting (NSPM) Plc with an indigenous firm, Iris Smart Technology Ltd.
Business Hilights recalls that in the last couple of decades, Federal Government had been flying away foreign currency to Malaysia for the production of the booklets even as the process had been causing serious hiccups in the availability of the products both in Nigeria and foreign missions.
However, it was not clear if it was the emerging local production that apparently shut up the cost of getting the booklet as the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) recently announced the new price of N70,000 for a 10 year valid International Passport booklet.
The Comptroller General of the agency, Mr. Mohammed Babandede, had at national TV programme earlier in the week, defended the new price, saying there are graduational rise in the price as not all booklets cost N70,000 to get.
In his remarks during the landmark signing ceremony in Abuja, the minister of interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulraham Dambazau (retd), explained that “by the agreement, the production of e-passport will be done solely in Nigeria”.
“The development will lead to the protection of our data base as a nation, adding that producing the document locally would provide employment for Nigerians to acquire skills in passport production as well as the technological know-how in the production of high-quality passport booklets.
Continuing, he assured that “We must ensure that we provide Nigerians with the best quality passport booklet because that is what Nigerians deserve.”
Also speaking, the Comptroller General of immigration, Mr. Babandede, thanked the minister for ensuring that domestication of production of the passport was achieved and assured that the passport would be of high quality and easily available as import bureaucracies are out of the way.