Nigeria has started with issuing its new electronic passport (e-passport) to citizens. The e-passport, which is valid for 10 years, is being issued by Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and it will include details of passport holders as captured by Nigeria's National Identity Management Commission.

The announcement was made by James Sunday, Public Relations Officer at NIS, on 29 April 2019 at a media event showing journalists around the NIS' data capture centre in Abuja.

The cost of the 32-page five-year standard passport stands at N25, 000, while the 64-page five-year standard passport costs N35,000.

The 64-page 10-year standard passport costs ₦70,000.

According to Sunday, Nigeria's new e-passport has several advantages including that it is valid for 10 years, has a self-tracking application, and citizens can make use of express centers for urgent application.

Digital identity in Africa

Nigeria is not the first African country to issue e-passports. In 2017, Kenya's Immigration Department announced that they will start issuing e-passports. Kenya's new e-passports are said to have a chip that will have the passport holder's details and biometrics.

Nigeria's new e-passport was initially announced by President Muhammadu Buhari on 16 January 2019.

Cover image credit: Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria.

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