The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced plans to increase the validity of passports issued to adults from five to 10 years.
Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr Mohammed Babandede, disclosed this to reporters on Thursday at the Passport Office in Ikoyi area of Lagos State.
“The idea is to reform the old passport booklet, the booklet will change. 10-year validity will reduce the burden on applicants and on the system,” he said.
Babandede explained that this was part of reforms by the Service towards improving the process of issuing passports to Nigerians.
He was also confident that the issuance of the new passport, which would commence before the end of the year, would reduce the burden on Nigerians to acquire passports every five years.
“We strongly believe that this will help Nigeria, this will make our customers happy, and we will ensure it is done before the end of this year because the booklet has to change,” the Immigration boss said.
The Nigeria Immigration Service is set to map out a strategy for the implementation of the proposed introduction of tax for the Nigerian international passport.
The Comptroller General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede, made this known during a decoration ceremony of newly promoted officers in Abuja.
The tax according to him is not a punitive measure against Nigerians and there should be no objection to the introduction as the service would work closely with the tax authorities to make the system credible and free of forgery.
In the same vein, the immigration disclosed an increased revenue of 26 million Dollars in 2016 from the 23 million Dollars accrued in 2015 and has been remitted to the federal government.
A Nigerian lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani is urging immigration agencies in Africa to join in the initiative to stop illegal and dangerous migration across the Mediterranean sea.
Several persons have died making attempts to cross the sea to Europe, but Mr Sani is optimistic that adequate collaboration would save the lives and future of thousands of young Africans.
Senator Sani made the appeal on Wednesday at a meeting with the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammed Babandede.
The Senator stated that the Pan-African Initiative Against Illegal and Dangerous Migration (PAIIDAM) is set to stem the tide of human trafficking which leads to abuse and death by bringing enlightenment and economic succor through joint collaboration.
Nigeria is currently 3rd among countries with high rate of illegal migration whose citizens are rescued daily across foreign waters.
Following the legislation by Nigeria’s National Assembly in 2015 criminalising smuggling of migrants, the Immigration Comptroller General, Mohammed Babandede, says collaboration and sharing of expertise with other African countries is vital in order to nab the perpetrators.