A member of the House of Representatives, representing Oluyole Federal Constituency of Oyo State, Mr. Olusunbo Olugbemi, has hailed the introduction of a new Nigeria passport with 10-year validity.
Olugbemi, a member of the House Committee on Interior, while reacting to the introduction in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Thursday, said the move was in line with global best practices.
The Nigeria Immigration Service had, on Monday, begun issuance of the travel document.
The enhanced polycarbonate passport with 64 pages, which President Muhammadu Buhari launched on January 15, 2019, was embedded with the National Identity Number and costs N70,000.
Reacting, Olugbemi said, “The international best practice for the issuance of passports is 10 years, but over the years, it has been five-year expiration period for the Nigerian passport. And we want to meet up with international standard, that was why we moved the motion about three years ago.
“The motion was adopted, sent to the Committee on Interior, the committee looked at it. The Nigerians Immigration Services was invited; they came, we had public hearing and today, it has been passed.
“It will now be easier for the people here and those in the Diaspora, who normally go to Washington DC or New York every five years.
“If you have like five people in the family, you have to buy tickets for everybody to go to DC for the issuance. But now that the lifespan will be 10 years, it is easier for them; it will save cost and it will save time.”
The lawmaker stated that he had moved other notable motions, saying, “Apart from the one on Nigerian passport validity, there was one that I moved that fetched us a project that is almost N9.8bn. The project has commenced.
“The project is on road construction and the road is about 47 kilometres from Oyo State going to Ogun State; from Olude-Aiyegun going through Ogun State.
“It is not a constituency project, it is a capital project and it as a result of one of the motions that I moved.
“The motion was passed, sent to the appropriate committee and then, I followed it up to the Ministry of Works. The road was captured in the budget last year; about N550m was appropriated.
“Also this year, about N500m was appropriated for it. The construction commenced last year and it is ongoing.”