FG Domesticates Passport Production in Nigeria
The Federal Government has domesticated the production of Nigeria passports with the witnessing of the Ministry of Interior at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the production of passports in the country.
The agreement for the domestication of the production of passports which was signed between IRIS SMART TECHNOLOGY LTD, an indigenous company, and Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc at the Ministry of Interior in Abuja, entails that production of e-passport will be done in Nigeria alone and will no longer be done by foreigners.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Honourable Minister of Interior, Lt Gen (rtd) Abdulraham Dambazau, said he was glad to witness the signing of the MoU. He said that the process that led to the signing of the MoU began two years ago, explaining that before the agreement, passport booklets were produced outside the country.
He urged all parties to get down to work immediately. Gen. Dambazau assured further thatproducing the document locally would provide employment for Nigerians to acquire skills in passport production, protect its security, preserve foreign exchange as well as encourage transfer of technology.
“I am glad we have decided that it’s the right thing to do. The platform is already there, it’s only for us to key into it. Iris has an existing contract with the Nigerian government and they have the technology. They will work with the Nigeria Security, Printing and Minting PLC to actualise this plan. We must ensure that we provide Nigerians with the best quality passport booklet because that is what Nigerians deserve,” he said.
Earlier, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammed Babandede said that samples will be tested to ensure that the product meets international standard in terms of security features and is of high quality before giving the permission for mass production of the document.
He thanked the minister for ensuring that domestication of production of the passport was achieved. Adding that Nigerian Immigration Service was the greatest beneficiary of the development and assured that the passport would be of high quality.
Mr Abbas Masanawa, Managing Director, Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc, also commended the interior ministry for the initiative and efforts at seeing it through.
He said that the MoU was an epoch event in Nigeria, as “what is done outside the country can be done in Nigeria’’, he said Masanawa assured that they would not disappoint Nigerians, adding that they would produce the passport that would compete with other passports in the world.
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