The Nigeria Immigration Service on Thursday broke its silence on claims that passport offices in the North were charging cheaper rates than those in the South.
There had been allegations that it was charging N10,250 for passports in the North whereas it had gone much higher down South.
Explaining, the Comptroller -General of Immigration, Isah Jere Idris, in a statement said: “The attention of the Comptroller General Isah Jere Idris has been drawn to some stories about discriminatory Passport charges for Passport applicants in the North and South of the country.The report is not only laughable but also very pedestrian.The Passports we issue are for Nigerians irrespective of where they live including those in the diaspora.What we do have are two Passport regimes that are running concurrently.
They are the electronic Passport and enhanced electronic Passport.The latter is an improvement of the former. It is a product of the latest technology in Passport issuance.
It has improved security features, a poly carbonate data page and comes in three categories of 32-page five-year validity (N25,000), 64-page five- year (N35000) and 64-page ten-year validity (N70000).It was unveiled sometime in 2019 and seven Passport Centres including Ikoyi, Abuja, Alausa, FESTAC, Port Harcourt. Kano and Gwagwalada were immediately migrated to the enhanced Passport regime then.
Meanwhile, the electronic Passport is the usual one we have been issuing since the introduction of ePassport in 2007. The fee chargeable range from N8750-N17800 depending on age of the applicant and category of Passport. At the moment, the Service is steadily migrating all its Passport Centres to the enhanced ePassport regime.
To this effect, all the centres in South-South, South-West and South-East including our Desks in the UK and USA have been fully migrated to the enhanced regime. In the work plan, Centres in the North-West, North-East, Canada and others are getting ready for migration to the enhanced Passport regime very soon.
We therefore, like to reiterate that there is absolutely no discriminatory Passport fees anywhere on our platform. We advise those peddling such empty narrative to get educated by this clarification please.”