Wike believes that this move will aid Nigerians to acquire long-term visas and also boost security in the way we expect as citizens.
According to him the introduction of E-Passport is applaudable and encouraging even if the BVN requirement before accessing it is very unnecessary.
He added that making the provision of a BVN compulsory will automatically rule some people which will defeat the purpose of its launch in the first place.
His words, “Let me thank the Nigeria Immigration Service for their giant strides in the area of the Electronic Passport. It will help towards security and other trends.
“The Introduction of E-Passport is indeed commendable because of its improved security features and other key features of the passport.
“The extension of the validity period is also important as it will allow holders to access lengthy visas. The 10year passport affords most people the opportunity to have longer visas.”
“The integration with the national identity number is very important. It is an innovation which is encouraging,”
He, however, said asking Nigerians to bring their BVN before obtaining the E-Passport is not necessary.
His words, “I was surprised yesterday when I was told to bring my Bank Verification Number (BVN). Assuming I have a child, who is one year old and I want to travel with my child, are you telling me that my child cannot travel, perhaps because he does not have a bank account?
“I told them, you have my salary account, go and check my BVN. I don’t know how the BVN has become a factor in the issuance of international passport. That is not acceptable. If this is the only way that we can check corruption, then we have failed.
“As a Governor, you know my salary, you know my account and this can be collected from the Code of Conduct Bureau. It is not hidden.”
“Federal Agencies should stop depending fully on State Governments for their operations. The responsibility is too enormous.
“Today, you have asked. The police will ask, the Drug Law Enforcement Agency will ask, the Army will ask and other Federal Agencies will also ask. How are we going to survive?”
“I want to thank you for this innovation. I know that since you launched it here, I should also do something good, but not today.
“I urge our people to take advantage of this facility to ensure you come to get your International passport. Also, go and register for your National Identity card, it us very important.”
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