Holders of Nigerian International Passport will agree that getting a passport from the Immigration is one hell of a process. The process of applying and getting a 32 page passport out every 5 is very stressful. Especially for many people who tend to travel a lot. The 32 page is really not enough and it doesn’t sound too great to exhaust the pages before the end of 5 years and go through another stress of reapplying.
Sometimes last year, the Nigerian Immigration Service announced their plan to introduce a new 10 year validity international passport to replace the old 5 year validity. The new passport was to set to take effect from December last year but due to some reasons, it was delayed a bit.
Delay is not denial; so they say. Last Tuesday, the President of the Federation, President Buhari launched the new enhanced Electronic International Passport with 10 years validity. The launch of the new passport was held at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
After an hour of registering for the new passport, the President was presented with the new issued 10 years validity passport with 64 pages by Mohammad Babandede, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service.
At the launch of the passport, the Comptroller General announced the new cost of getting the international passport.
32-pages (5 years validity): N25,000 in Nigeria and $130 abroad
64-pages (5 years validity): N30,000 in Nigeria and $150 abroad
64-pages (10 years validity): N70,000 in Nigeria and $230 abroad.
However, the NIS boss has said the issuance of the new passport will commence next month but the old passport will still be accepted until it is finally replaced.
” the old and new passport will work concurrently until they are gradually replaced.”
REASONS FOR EXTENDING THE PASSPORT VALIDITY PERIODS
One of the reasons for the extension of the passport validity period is to align with the trend around the world.
“We extended the validity of our passport to 10 years because we want to dovetail with what is going on in the world. Our neighbour, Ghana has been issuing 10 years passport for some years now. In fact, 80 per cent of the countries in the world extended their validity to 10 years.”
According to the investigation carried out by one of the countries publication, Nigerians in diaspora find it quite difficult to renew their passport because do the distance of the country’s Embassies at their various countries.
“It is difficult for Nigerians in the Diaspora to renew their passports because most of our embassies are located in areas far away from where many of our citizens live in each country.”
Speaking to a travel expert, for frequent air travellers, the validity of the passport is not really what matters but the number of pages. Some travellers use their 32 page passport and exhaust the pages in less than 3 years.
This is quite a good development and great news for Nigerian travellers. We hope the development does not come with the same stress and longer period before getting the passport out at the immigration.
What do you think about the new validity period? We’ll like to read your thoughts.