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FG to extend E-passport facility to Austria

23 January 2013, 12:08

Abuja - Mr Abba Moro, Minister of Interior on Tuesday in London said Federal Government Plans to extend the E-Passport facility to Austria, Portugal and other countries where Nigerians reside.

Moro who was on an inspection tour of the E-Passport facility at the Nigerian High Commission, disclosed this in an interview with the Western Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN).

``I am aware that many countries in Europe, and America are faced with the challenge of accessing the E-passport facility.

``This is largely because we have not rolled out the E passport in those countries due to budgetary constraint.

``Very soon, we are going to establish offices in some European countries like Austria, Portugal and others.

``This will ease the challenge of Nigerians traveling to other nations to acquire the document," Moro said.

The minister also said that those who reside in countries without Nigerian embassies would also have the opportunity to get the E-passport when immigration officers undertake intervention exercise later this year.

According to the him, 30,111 E- passports were issued by the Nigerian High Commission in London between January and December 2012, while 22,659 business visa were granted.

``Similarly, 4105 Emergency Traveling Certificates were issued during the period.

``This is impressive. I also note with satisfaction the synergy between the High Commission and Immigration officers," he said.

Moro called for similar collaboration between immigration officers and members of staff in embassies where they serve.

It will be recalled that the E-passport was introduced in 2007 to replace the Machine Readable Passport in a bid to prevent fraud and forgery.

NAN

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