Immigration to issue old booklets despite 10-year new e-Passport

• Reads Riot Act As Issuance Begins in Lagos

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), yesterday, said the validity of the old passport would concurrently run with that of the new e-passport, even as more of the old passports would be issued to applicants.

Comptroller General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede, at an interactive session with officers in Lagos, said the migration from old to new would be gradual to avert crises that are peculiar to such transitions.

He warned officers to desist from sharp practices and corruption ahead of the roll-out of the new 10-year electronic passport in Lagos.

The NIS also warned Nigerians, and passport applicants alike, to eschew parading more than one identity, as the new passport is directly tied to the National Identity Number (NIN).

The Comptroller-General said all the embassies had been notified of plans to keep the old passport valid, though applicants could request for the new passports with enhanced features.

He said new applicants, either fresh or on renewal, could from Tuesday get the new e-passport at Ikoyi Passport Office, while issuance of the old booklet would continue at other centres in Lagos.

“Those that have already paid N25, 000 for passport and are in our system, we are still producing (old) passports for them. But from Tuesday, the new ones will be available at Ikoyi. We have already flushed out the old passport in Abuja, though those that want the old one can still get it at Gwagwalada office. Both of them are valid. The process of switching will be gradual because we don’t want to create any crisis,” he said.

The new e-passport, with about 35 security features, was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari early this year.

The cost of the 32-page five-year standard passport stands at N25, 000, while the 64-page five-year standard passport costs N35, 000. The 64-page 10-year standard passport costs N70, 000, but it is exclusive to adults.

The new passport has advantages, which include linkage to the NIN, 10-year validity, self-tracking application, express centres for urgent application and being weather-friendly. In addition, it is compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standard, and is made from poly-carbonate technology, which reduces incidence of damage.

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