President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday launched a new enhanced security Nigerian passport with 10 years validity.
He performed the ceremony at a meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the presidential villa, Abuja.
The FEC meeting was held a day earlier ostensibly to enable the President to participate in the All Progressives Congress (APC) rallies in Edo and Delta states on Wednesday.
The President was immediately issued his own 10 – year validity passport by the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Mr Mohammad Babandede.
Speaking to State House correspondents later, Babandede explained that the new passport has enhanced features which will make it easier for security management.
He said it will bring discipline to the system even as he added that the old passport will work concurrently with the new one.
He said the new passport with 32 pages will cost N25, 000 and $130 abroad; the 64 pages with five years expiration time will cost N35, 000 and $150 abroad while the 64 pages with 10 years validity will cost N70, 000 in Nigeria and $230 abroad.
He said: “The new passport reform programme is weather friendly, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) compliant, it has polycarbonate technology that eliminates damage, enhanced security features and save Nigerians in the Diaspora time of frequent visit to Nigerian Embassy among others.”
Also speaking, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau said Nigerians in Diaspora demanded the10-year validity passport, which the government has obliged them.
He said the e-passport database is the most reliable source of data for criminal investigation.
The minister however regretted that the passport was being produced outside the country and therefore stressed the need to domesticate production.
On the outcome of the FEC meeting, Minister of information, Lai Mohammed, said the government will take its final decision on the new minimum wage after it has been discussed by the National Economic Council (NEC).
Recall that even though the National Tripartite Committee on the New National Minimum Wage has submitted its report, the President is yet to transmit a bill to the National Assembly for its consideration and approval.
The federal government has offered to pay N24, 000, states are insisting on N22,500 while the Tripartite Committee recommended N30,000.