The Nigeria Immigration Service has begun issuance of the new passport booklet with 10-year validity at its Abuja headquarters.
The Public Relations Officer, NIS, DCI Sunday James, while conducting journalists round the passport office in Abuja on Monday said the new booklet was part of a comprehensive passport reform approved by the Federal Government to improve the quality and security of the passport and reduce incidence of damage, counterfeit, and forgery.
He however explained that the Comptroller-General of Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, had directed passport offices at the state commands to continue to issue the old booklet while the service headquarters Abuja would only issue the new passport booklet.
The enhanced polycarbonate booklet with 64 pages which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 15, 2019, has the National Identity Number, NIN, embedded on it and costs N70,000.
James said that with the new passport bearing the NIN, it was compulsory for passport applicants to have a NIN number, adding that the NIS management had set up a desk at the passport office where individuals can register for the NIN.
“The National Identity Number is compulsory for all applicant of the new document. To make it easy for applicants, the Nigeria Immigration Service has provided space for National Identity Management Commission at the service headquarters, Abuja, to register applicants and issue to them the NIN.
“The public are advised not to rush for the new booklet as the new enhanced passport will run concurrently with the old one,” James stated.
He explained that applicants holding a passport with more than six months validity were not eligible for the new booklet except in the case of damage, change of data and those whose booklets were exhausted.
James however advised applicants not to patronise touts as the service was equipped to meet their needs and urged them to pay online or directly to the banks situated within the passport offices.