Nigeria To Produce E-Passports Locally
aBaring any last-minute changes to the second term bid of the incumbent President Buhari Govt, Nigerian E-Passports will now be produced locally in Nigeria. This much was made known as the Federal Government yesterday, and the Ministry of Interior witnessed the domestic production of Nigeria passports, and also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the production of passports in the country.
The agreement, which was signed between IRIS SMART TECHNOLOGY LTD, an indigenous company, and Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc, at the Ministry of Interior in Abuja, entails that Nigeria will be the sole producer of the e-passport.
The Honourable Minister of Interior, Lt Gen (Rtd) Abdulraham Dambazau, expressed his happiness being a witness to the signing of the MoU, adding that the process started two years ago, because before now, passport booklets were produced outside the country. He stressed that producing the document locally would create employment for Nigerians to acquire skills in passport production, protect its security, preserve foreign exchange as well as encourage transfer of technology. “I am glad we have decided that it’s the right thing to do. The platform is already there, it’s only for us to key into it. IRIS has an existing contract with the Nigerian Government, and they have the technology. They will work with the Nigeria Security, Printing and Minting PLC to actualise this plan. We must ensure that we provide Nigerians with the best quality passport booklet because that is what Nigerians deserve,” he said.
Also, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammed Babandede, said that samples will be tested to ensure that the product meets international standard in terms of security features, and is of high quality before giving the permission for mass production of the document. He thanked the Minister for ensuring that domestication of production of the passport was achieved and added that Nigerian Immigration Service was the greatest beneficiary of the development.
Mr Abbas Masanawa, Managing Director, Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc, also praised the Interior Ministry, for the initiative and efforts at seeing it through. He said that the MoU was an epoch event in Nigeria, as “What is done outside the country can now be done in Nigeria’’, he said Masanawa stated that they would not disappoint Nigerians, because they would produce the passport that would be compatible with other passports in the world.
Director (Press & Public Relations)