Scarcity Of E-passport Booklets To Persist Over Pricing
Getting an international passport now in Nigeria has become difficult, with most of the issuing centres complaining that they lack materials.
If you request for the 32-page passport booklet, you will be told that the available passport is the 64-page booklet.
It is scarce and there are indications that the scarcity of the e-passport booklets may not abate soon.
This is because the Federal Government has failed to reach an agreement on the new pricing of the travel document with the vendor, Iris Smart Technology Limited.
ISTL had since last year demanded an upward review of the price Nigerians pay to obtain the document but the government has not approved the proposal.
The production agreement between ISTL and the Ministry of Interior for the e-passport project was due to expire on May 7, 2017 (tomorrow).
According to reports, ISTL had reduced the production and supply of the 32-page passports since last year following the foreign exchange crisis in Nigeria which had reportedly increased the production cost of the booklets.
The supply company, however, has more than the issue of price increase to worry about, as the government is questioning why the Nigerian passport is being printed and produced abroad.
Competent presidency sources said that in reviewing the cost of the passports as requested by Iris, the Federal Government raised questions about why the documents were being produced abroad.
It was learnt that the chip in the e-passport booklet is produced in South Africa by a Netherland-based company while the lamination of the data page is done in Malaysia.