03 September 2008

Nigeria: number of e-passports to reach 1 million

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The number of Nigerian e-passports issued by the Nigeria Immigration Service is expected to reach 1 million by the end of the year, reports The Tide Online.

The Comptroller General, Joseph Ude, said the half million target has already been reached. 

"We are actually fast approaching the one million mark and it is our belief that by the end of the year, the one million feat would be achieved," he said.

The Nigerian e-passport is a passport that contains a micro-chip containing the biometric data of the passport holder.  Last year, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) introduced the measure to curb the illegal use of passports and fraudulence.

New e-passport services are available now in South Africa, New York and London. 

Udeh told BBC News the program will eventually expand into 48 countries. “The service acknowledges that Nigerians are among the most travelled people in the world and our intention is to make it easy for Nigerians, wherever they find themselves, to conduct their passport and other services,” he said.

For all non-Nigerian nationals who are not from the Economic Community of West African States and wish to visit Nigeria for tourism and business purposes, a Nigerian Tourist Visa or Nigerian Business Visa is needed.

The Worldwide Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in Nigerian visa and immigration services.

Article by Jessica Bird, Worldwide Visa Bureau.

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