Nigerian Government Launches Temporary Passports for Citizens in Diaspora

Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior, unveiled the Nigerian Temporary Passport (NTP) yesterday to assist Nigerians who want to return home but do not have access to their national passports.

Mr. Sunday James, the Public Relations Officer for the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), released a statement on the subject.

The temporary passport, according to James, is a new form of passport that will be issued by Nigerian embassies/high commissions abroad to Nigerian people who wish to fly but do not have current national passports.

“The minister stated that the temporary passport is a travel document designed for a one-way travel to Nigeria only, adding that the new document replaces the hitherto Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC), which was issued to Nigerians in emergency situations for the purpose of returning home,” the statement revealed.

The minister also claimed in the statement that the Temporary Passport is consistent with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and is only valid for 30 days before the date of travel.

He went on to say that it is not a substitute for the Nigerian passport and that it will only serve a temporary purpose in the event of a Nigerian’s passport being lost or misplaced abroad.

According to NIS Comptroller General Muhammad Babandede, the replaced Emergency Travel Certificate posed a major security risk to Nigeria and the rest of the world because it was simply a piece of paper without the requisite security features of a travel document.

Mr Babandede strengthened that the provisional passport used to replace it “is a catalyst to Nigeria’s desire for effective identity management as it has a chip and surface personalization which is an enhancement of the current Electronic Passport Management System (EPMS).”

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