Nigeria to automate passport application, plans to launch e-gates at airports in 2024

Effective 2024, the Nigerian Ministry of Interior is set to introduce e-gates at airports nationwide, in conjunction with the planned launch of an automated passport application system next month.

Nigeria to automate passport application, plans to launch e-gates at airports in 2024
Credit: US Embassy in Nigeria

Nigeria’s minister of interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo has disclosed that the automated passport application in the country will become operational in a week’s time.

During an interview on Channels TV on Tuesday Tunji-Ojo said, “We’ve done the testing and we should be going live in the next one week or thereabout. As I said, that will ensure that Nigerians, all they need to do in an immigration centre, a passport centre, is just biometrics, just to take your fingerprints, that’s all.”

Over time, Nigerians have grappled with diverse challenges in the passport application process, ranging from racketeering to inflated costs. The automated application system seeks to eradicate middlemen who have historically taken advantage of the manual process to extort funds from applicants.

Effective February 2024, the interior minister also disclosed that e-gates will be launched at international airports across the country. “Once you are a Nigerian coming to Nigeria, you have no business seeing an immigration officer except if you are a person of interest,” he said.

Last year, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria barred two officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service from operating at any airport in the country due to their participation in extorting a passenger. Extortion of air travellers at airports is a corrupt practice ingrained within security agencies in numerous countries, including Nigeria's airports. With the introduction of e-gates, the government aims to mitigate this practice and also ease the process for travellers.

This is a developing story

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