The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Muhammad Babandede, has said that plans are underway for the local production of the Nigerian e-passport.
Mr Babandede disclosed this on Thursday (13 July) in Abuja when members of the House of Representatives Committee on Interior came on an oversight visit. He said that the NIS was working round the clock with the support of the federal government to start the local production of the e-passports through the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company by 2018.
The e-passport is currently being produced by Iris Smart Technology Nigeria Ltd. through its parent company, Malaysia-based Iris Corporation.
The comptroller-general said that the measure was to save cost, ensure security of critical data base, and create more jobs for Nigerians.
He said that the Minister of Interior had set up a committee comprising critical stakeholders to work out the modalities and implementation of the project.
He said that since there was a subsisting contract presently, all stakeholders including the National Assembly would have to be carried along to realise the laudable project.
The Chairman, House Committee on Interior, Adams Jagaba, condemned the use of foreign companies for the production of the passport and other services. Mr Jagaba said the foreign companies “go away with more than 70 per cent of the revenue generated from the production of the document while the federal government takes less than 30 per cent. ”
He said the House of Representatives had conducted a public hearing on the matter and explored ways to reverse the ugly trend.