BY QADRI SALIU
The Nigerian Government has on Tuesday introduced a temporary passport for Nigerians living abroad which will replace the emergency travel certificate presently in use.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, in Abuja explained that the temporary passport is a new genre of travel document that will be issued at the Nigerian Embassies abroad to Nigerians wishing to return home but whose national passport was not available.
Aregbesola, made this clarity during the inaugurated of the temporary passport at the Nigeria Immigration Service headquarters, Abuja on Tuesday.
Sunday James, the NIS spokesman, in a statement said: ”The minister stated that the temporary passport was designed for a one-way journey to Nigeria only and that the new document replaces the hitherto Emergency Travel Certificate which was issued to Nigerians in emergency situations for the purpose of returning home.
‘’He maintained that the temporary passport is ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) compliant and is valid for only 30 days before the date of travel and it is not in any way a replacement for the Nigerian passport as it will only serve a temporary purpose in the case of loss or misplacement of the Nigerian passport by a Nigerian abroad,’’ the statement noted.
The Comptroller-General of Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, stated that the replaced ETC was a huge security threat to Nigeria and the global community “because it was an ordinary paper devoid of necessary security features of a travel document.’’
”The TP has a chip and surface personalization which is an enhancement of the Electronic Passport Management System.”