The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has disclosed that the validity of Nigerian passports will be extended from five to 10 years.
The Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service, Muhammed Babandede, who said this in a report monitored on Channels Tv on Thursday, added that the extended validity period would reduce the stress Nigerians went through every five years to renew their passports.
A flurry of complaints by Nigerians and the international community about the short validity period of five years compelled Immigrations to submit a memo about it to President Buhari as far back as 2016.
“One of the reforms President Buhari has approved is that we would improve the quality, security of our passport booklets. Ten years after the enrolment of the e-passport system, we need to improve the security features. You can’t keep documents for 10 years without seeing decreased values in them, so we are improving the security features which would raise the standards of the passports,” the CG explained.
He said: “President Muhammadu Buhari said we should fight corruption. We cannot fight corruption when officers have access to cash. If they can’t see the money, then, we can put everything in check. Officers you are, hereby, warned; if I see you with cash, it is tantamount to being corrupt and deserves severe punishment.
“Though people will pay more, if they can pay more and get the booklets quickly, it’s good with improved security for 10 years validity. They would pay more but the document would be available, that’s good.
Also, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank, Segun Agbaje, said the bank worked in line with the vision of Babandede and Buhari to erase middlemen and limit corrupt act.