By Ernest Chinwo
The agony people pass through to get the Nigerian passport may have come to end as the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has said it will roll out the enhanced e-passport in Port Harcourt next week.
The Controller of Immigration, Rivers State Command, Mr. Arguing Adegoke, told journalists in Port Harcout Thursday that the command would commence issuance of the enhanced e-passports Tuesday.
He said the enhanced e-passport would have 32 or 64 pages of five or 10 years validity and would cost N35,000 and N70,000 respectively.
While extolling the enhanced security features of the e-passport, Adegoke however said people seeking to get the new passport must have the National Identification Number (NIN) issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
He said: “This enhanced e-passport has 32 pages and 64 pages, with options of five years and 10 years validity. The quality of the e-passport is better with introduction of polycarbonate technology in line with global best practice.”
He also said the enhanced e-passport would reduce the hardship people go through to obtain or renew the Nigerian passport as the filling and payment for it has to be done online before capturing which will be done at the new Immigration Office at 8/10 Ana Road, Port Harcourt.
Adegoke however cautioned Nigerians not to panic as the enhanced e-passport would exist side by side the current passport before it would gradually take over.
He also noted that the issuance of the enhanced e-passport at the Port Harcourt office would be a big relief to residents of Rivers State and the entire South-south and South-east regions as people would not need to travel to Abuja to get it.
He said Port Harcourt is the fourth centre, after Abuja, Lagos and Kano, to issue the enhanced e-passport in the country.