The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) yesterday started the issuance of a new passport booklet with 10-year validity. The issuance was held at its headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital. The enhanced polycarbonate passport booklet, which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 15, is embedded with the every holder’s National Identity Number (NIN).
Conducting reporters round the passport office in Abuja, NIS spokesman Sunday James said the new booklet is part of a comprehensive passport reform approved by the Federal Government to improve the quality and security of the travel document meant to incidence of damage, counterfeit and forgery.
He explained that it is compulsory for passport applicants to have a NIN, adding that the NIS management had set up a desk where individuals can register for the mandatory NIN.
James said: “The NIN is compulsory for all applicants of the new document. To make it easy for applicants, the NIS has provided space for National Identity Management Commission at the service headquarters in 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 also said any applicant holding a passport with more than six-month validity is not eligible for the new booklet except in the case of damage, change of data and those whose booklets were exhausted. James advised applicants to pay online or directly to the banks situated within the passport offices.
He urged them not to patronize louts “as all the service windows are equipped to meet their needs.”