By Albert Akota
Coalition of Civil Society Groups (CSO) has lauded the e-passport initiative of the ministry of interior saying, it places Nigeria among serious minded countries
The coalition, in a statement endorsed by leaders of seven different organisations, and made available to journalists yesterday, said a cursory look at the e-passport initiative after careful scrutiny vis-à-vis the rationale, benefits to all stakeholders and best global practices, shows that the initiative is a product of focused leadership, which is highly commendable.
“The e-passport initiative has put Nigeria in the league of serious nations as the passport is a document of National pride.
Commenting on the stipulated N2000, it said: “In line with our mandate of promoting good governance, the Civil Society Group carried out an independent investigation into the said allegation and our discoveries include the fact that the said amount is remitted to the government through the Nigeria Immigration Service, and that the said sum is the cost paid by applicants for verification of addresses and delivery of passports upon issuance.
It assured that the said money is accessed in line with the public private partnership agreement by all parties concerned.
The group further stated that owing to its investigation, no individual or group has been found to have defrauded Nigerians as the said money is being paid into the federal government coffers through the Nigeria Immigration Service, and same jointly accessed by all parties involved in line with the Public Private Partnership agreement.
Above all, the e-passport initiative is a laudable one and should be vigorously supported.
“The 21st century is propelled by the use of ICT in an era where the world is unified by free access to information and the use of ICT in solving both simple and complex problems.
The introduction of an ICT driven Nigeria Immigration Service is a bold step in the right direction that has helped to curb inefficiency and this has already led to the introduction of the e-passport regime which will enhance paperless policy in compliance with best global practices and encourage modernization and automation of expatriate quota administration, which has eased delays in processing citizenship applications and business/residency permits” he said