The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Monday, commenced issuance of the new 10-year validity enhanced passport booklet, which is part of a comprehensive reform, approved by the Federal Government in January.
President Muhammadu Buhari launched the new passport in January, Muhammad Babandede, Comptroller-General of the NIS, explaining that the new passport with 32 pages would cost N25,000 at home and $130 abroad, the 64-page document with five-year validity would cost N35,000 and $150 abroad, and the 64-page version with 10-year validity N70,000 in Nigeria and $230 abroad.
Conducting journalists round the passport office in Abuja on Monday, the NIS Public Relations Officer, DCI Sunday James, said the new booklet was part of a comprehensive passport reform approved by the Federal Government to improve the quality and security of the travel document as well as to reduce incidence of damage, counterfeit, and forgery.
He explained that it was compulsory for passport applicants to have a NIN, adding that the NIS management had set up a desk at the passport office where individuals can register for the NIN. James stated, “the National Identity Number is compulsory for all applicants to the new document.
To make it easy for applicants, the Nigeria Immigration Service has provided space for National Identity Management Commission at the service headquarters, Abuja, to register applicants and issue to them the NIN. The public are advised not to rush for the new booklet, as the new enhanced passport will run concurrently with the old one.”
The NIS spokesman further said that applicants holding a passport with more than six months’ validity are not eligible for the new booklet, except in the case of damage, change of data and those whose booklets have been exhausted. He advised applicants to pay online or directly to the banks situated within the passport offices.
He said Babandede had directed passport offices at the state commands to continue to issue the old booklet, while only the service headquarters in Abuja would issue the new passport booklet.
He specifically said the enhanced polycarbonate booklet with 64 pages will be available in Ikoyi beginning from June 3, Alausa, Lagos from July 8, and London from July 29.