In a significant move aimed at improving services for Nigerians living in the diaspora, the Federal Government has officially inaugurated enhanced e-passport facilities at Nigerian Embassies in Italy, Spain, Greece, Austria, and Switzerland.
The inauguration ceremony took place at the Nigerian Embassy in Rome, Italy, with the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, leading the event.
This development, aimed at streamlining passport processing and acquisition for Nigerians abroad, underscores the government’s commitment to citizens’ diplomacy. The inauguration marked a significant milestone in President Bola Tinubu’s administration’s efforts to enhance services to the diaspora community.
The inauguration event was announced in a statement issued by the Service Public Relations Officer (SPRO), Adedotun Aridegbe, on Tuesday in Abuja.
Minister Tunji-Ojo, in his address, emphasized the dedication of the government to providing enhanced services to Nigerians living abroad. He highlighted the phased rollout of the enhanced e-passport in Europe, with phase one, which includes Spain, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy, officially introduced in Rome. Phase two is scheduled to be implemented by the end of the week.
The e-Passport, according to Tunji-Ojo, complies with all standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This achievement positions Nigeria as the first country in Africa and the fifth worldwide to embrace this technological advancement, earning recognition and regard from the international community.
One of the key benefits of the enhanced e-Passport is a significant reduction in processing delays for Nigerians in Europe, provided that applicants strictly adhere to application guidelines.
These guidelines include utilizing the online application and payment platform at passport.immigration.gov.ng and ensuring the synchronization of their passport application data with their National Identification Number (NIN).
The enhanced e-Passport offers three categories:
- 32-page Five-year validity category
- 64-page Five-year validity category
- 64-page Ten-year validity category (for adults only)
Minister Tunji-Ojo encouraged applicants with any complaints or queries to use the following channels for resolution:
- Twitter: @nigimmigration
- Website: www.immigration.gov.ng
- Contact Center: 09121900655, 09121556359, 09121477092
The inauguration of these enhanced e-passport facilities is seen as a significant step in improving consular services for Nigerians living abroad and is expected to streamline the passport application process while enhancing security and compliance with international standards.