- Some Nigerians in the UK have condemned the suspension of capturing of biometrics for the new enhanced e-passport by the Nigerian High Commission in London
- The high commission had this past weekend announced the suspension of biometrics capturing in the UK for persons applying for e-passports
- The Nigerian government had launched the enhanced e-passport to address issues of forgery and improve the application process
London - Following the suspension of capturing of biometrics for the new enhanced e-passport at the Nigeria High Commission in London, United Kingdom, a group of Nigerians under the aegis of the Nigerians in Diaspora have condemned the recent announcement of the Nigerian High Commissioner.
The group said the news which broke Sunday night, March 27 sends wrong signals to many Nigerians, particularly those that have had to travel long distances from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Manchester, Cardiff, Birmingham, and so on to the mission in London without positive resolution of their respective consular issues.
The statement signed by Mrs. Ada Liwett, on behalf of the group and sent to Legit.ng on Monday, March 28, recalled the deplorable situation of passport issuance and renewals after the lockdown and the then suspension of operations between December 2019 and April 2021 in a supposed attempt to address the issues responsible for the then anomalous situation.
The group alleged that the High Commissioner is unhappy that the avenue for illegal charges has been stopped following the visitation of the minister of interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
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Part of the statement read:
“A number of Nigerians spoken to over the development alleged that the move by the High Commissioner could be linked to his idea of giving prominence and attention to the compulsory 120 pounds fast track system.
“This, they argued had been the only system that has been working since the lockdown, all other normal procedures have been rendered inactive and useless.
“They also claimed that if you don’t have the 120 pounds, it means you cannot get attention to process application and eventual issuance of passports at the Nigerian High Commission in London.”
According to the diaspora group, the continuous physical and verbal assaults of the staff of the mission arising from the frustration many face however led to a meeting of the Nigerian community convened to find a solution to the challenges associated with passport issuance before it deteriorates into avoidable calamities.
The group further said:
“We have it on good authority that while the meeting lasted, reports on telephone calls received by the mission consistently put average call logs of 84% on the frustration associated with the enhanced e-passport.
“Apparently optimistic that the said meeting would yield positive results in finding lasting solution to the yearnings of Nigerians in the UK, the shock news broke last night that the biometrics capture on the new enhanced e-passport at the Nigeria High Commission in London was suspended with effect from Monday, 28th March 2022.
“Suspending this working process again by the High commissioner is, however, tantamount to frustrating the efforts of Immigration for his own selfish interest and subsequently jeopardize the efforts of Immigration services in alleviating the problems facing Nigerians in the UK to obtain their legitimate Nigeria passport.”
e-Passport: FG announces new payment method for passport application
Recall that in December 2021, the federal government disclosed that it has digitalised payments for Nigerian passports.
The minister of interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the disclosure during the rollout of the enhanced e-passport with polycarbonate data page and other security features.
Aregbesola also advised citizens to avoid patronising touts and unscrupulous officials when applying for their documents.
Nigeria Immigration Service gives insight on delay in passport production
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) recently explained why there is always some delays in the processing of passport for many Nigerians.
The NIS said since the COVID-19 pandemic there have been a lot of changes and challenges in the production of passports coupled with other issues.
The Service also identified accessing foreign exchange, fraud and corruption as some of the reasons for the delay.