November 19, 2012 -
Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, Anastasia Daniel-Nwabia, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior of Nigera, stated concern over increasing claims of lost e-passports by Nigerians in the Diaspora, allAfrica reports.
“The loss of the e-passport is one of the major problems we are having; it forms about 90 per cent rejection of applicants. If you lose your passport you must convince the officials before it can be re-issued.”
Nigeria, like many African countries, is implementing many new biometrics initiatives. Last month, the National Identity Management Commission of Nigeria announced a proposal to register 100 million Nigerians in its recently-introduced biometric database system within a period of 30 months. In September, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation announced plans to create a biometric database of all hotel staff and personnel in a bid to curb criminal activity taking place in the hospitality industry. Also, in a bid to ensure more domestic workers are employed in the oil industry, the Nigerian government mandated the biometric capture of foreign oil workers.
According to Daniel-Nwabia, many Nigerians in the Diaspora have been issued e-passports since the expiration of the machine-readable passports just last year. Introduced in 2007 in Nigeria, e-passports were necessary to combat growing cases of forgery and duplication of the old passport.