NIGERIAN passports will no longer have a five-year duration, but ten years, according to Muhammed Babandende, Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
Babandende, speaking during a visit to the Ikoyi passport office in Lagos on Thursday, said President Muhammadu Buhari had granted his approval for the elongation and that it would take effect before the end of this year.
He also said that the NIS is working on increasing the quality of the passport, as well as enhancing its security features, adding, however, that these would mean that the price for obtaining a passport may increase slightly.
“He (Buhari) has approved 10-year validity for passports which is great news. When the report comes, passports will be valid for 10 years which is great news especially for adults from the age of 18 and above,” Babandende said.
“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.
“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.
“And we will ensure it is done before the end of this year because the booklet has to change.”
When The ICIR contacted Sunday James, Public Relations Officer of the NIS, to get more information on when the 10-year validiy period for the Nigerian passport is expected to commence, and how much the new passports would cost, he said he was on study leave in an academy in Sokoto and could not comment. He also refused to provide contact of any NIS personnel that could comment on the issue.