Nigerian Passports used to be valid for only 5 years, but now the Federal government has greenlit double validity period for the passports.
What this means, in essence, is that Nigerian passports will now be valid for a period of 10 years.
Speaking on this issue, the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service, Muhammed Babandede, said in a report that this move was made so as to reduce the stress on citizens who have to keep renewing their Nigerian passports every 5 years.
He said: “One of the reforms he (President Buhari) has approved is that we would improve the quality, security of our passport booklets.
“Ten years after the enrolment of the e-passport system, we need to improve the security features. You can’t keep documents for 10 years without seeing decreased values in them, so we are improving the security features which would raise the standards of the passports,”
Babandede also added that the security features on the Nigerian Passports will be improved.
Also, the Passports will cost more, although it wasn’t stated how much more and how much each category of passport would cost in this situation.
Babandede added: “President Buhari has equally approved 10-year validity for passports which is great news. When the report comes, passports will be valid for 10 years which is great news especially for adults from the age of 18 and above.”
“Though people will pay more, if they can pay more and get the booklets quickly, it’s good with improved security for 10 years validity. They would pay more but the document would be available, that’s good,”
The Passport Index, done by Canada-based global consultancy Arton Capital, showed Nigerians can travel to 44 countries either without a visa at all or can have one issued on arrival.
According to the Index, Djibouti and Congo with visa-free to 45 countries; Algeria (46); Liberia, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, and Burundi and Cameroon (47) are African countries with a stronger passport than Nigeria.