25 September 2008
Nigerian e-passports and visas generating record revenue
After introducing electronic passports and visas to the Nigerian immigration system, the Government has enjoyed more than N3.35 billion (£1.6 million) in sale revenue between March and December last year, reports the Daily Triumph.
The Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Mr Chukwurah Udeh, told the News Agency of Nigeria that N3 billion was raised as direct sales revenue from the e-passports, while the rest was from issuing Nigerian visas in offshore processing offices. He also said that prior to the introduction of the e-passport the NIS had never seen such levels of generated revenue.
"We have also introduced a number of measures to address cases of corruption among our personnel," he told reporters.
Recently, Mr Udeh also told reporters 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.
"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.
Mr 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.