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Nigerian Government Unveils Improved e-Passport In UK

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As part of the immigration process to improve the passport application process for Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora, the Nigerian Government in London launched an enhanced passport.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Minister of Interior Affairs, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, assured of the FG’s commitment with the enhanced e-passport, stating that the FG is committed to providing passports to all its citizens.

The Minister said: “What we have come to do here is symbolic of the core mandate of the Ministry of Interior Affairs and indeed, the Federal Government’s affirmation of citizenship integrity.

“The Nigerian passport is the highest affirmation of Nigerian citizenship. It is, therefore, our responsibility to provide the passport without any stress, within a reasonable period,” Aregbesola said.

He disclosed that the process of securing a passport had been riddled with challenges from the shortage of booklets to louting, with an economy of corruption built around it.

He assured Nigerians that he comes from a tradition of problem-solving in public administration and does not believe that any problem is insurmountable.

“So we are going to solve all the problems associated with passport administration and we are already succeeding,” he said.

He also added the new enhanced passport was a huge improvement from the standard passport introduced in 2007 because it had more sophisticated security features, making it one of the most secure passports in the world.

The Minister said that the enhanced e-Passport was a great improvement on the Biometric Passport technology which Nigeria adopted in 2007 stating that the FG is aware that technology rules the world and is keeping abreast with the latest development in the field.

“Over the years, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has worked assiduously and in close synergy with Messrs Iris Smart Technologies Ltd. to develop and implement passport reforms that are in tandem with international best practices.

“This includes extant International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Standards and Regulations,” he said.

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Omicron: Canadian Government Adds Nigeria, Two Other Countries To Travel Ban List 

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The Canadian government has added Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt to the list of African countries from which it is banning travellers amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19’s Omicron variant.

“We are adding three countries to the list of these countries that we talked about last Friday, these are Malawi, Egypt and Nigeria,” Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos was quoted as saying by Sputnik news agency.

Duclos added that all travellers coming from outside Canada, apart from the United States, would now be tested at Canadian airports for the novel coronavirus disease, regardless of vaccination status.

This came after the World Health Organization on Tuesday called for countries to keep calm and take “rational” measures in response to the new COVID variant, Omicron.

“We call on all member states to take rational, proportional risk-reduction measures,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing to countries, Al Jazeera reports.

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Nigerian Government Lift Ban On Emirate Airline

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After airline ten months of restrictions, the Nigerian government has lifted the ban placed on Emirates Airlines over the COVID-19 travel requirements on Nigerian passengers.

However, Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, who announced the lifting of the ban, said the airline had removed some of its travelling conditions for Nigeria.

Sirika added that the lifting of the ban is a product of lengthy negotiations between Nigeria and the airline.

“Today, we received communications from Emirates removing some of the conditions for travelling for which we had concerns,” he said.

“Having done that, it is necessary to lift the ban on Emirates.

“This subsequent lifting of the ban is a product of lengthy negotiations between us and them,” he added.

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FAAN To Ban Bribe-Seeking Officers From Working At The Airports

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Bribe-takers at Nigeria’s airports will be barred for life from working at the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) airport terminals across the country, regardless of whether the violator is a government or private sector staff, the Authority said.

The FAAN Managing Director, Capt. Rabiu Yaduda told journalists in Abuja on Monday after an emergency meeting with FAAN’s management, some airport managers and the Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, said the indiscipline at the airports is embarra*sing FAAN and Nigeria.

“Recently, we had videos showing the acts of indiscipline and extortions at our airports. They are embarrassing to FAAN, the aviation industry, and Nigeria.

So we had a management meeting comprising all FAAN airport managers, with the special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business,” Capt. Yaduda said.

He explained that the meeting would be escalated at all the airports across the country. “They will inform them that any vi*lation or acts of indiscipline, recorded or caught, FAAN will escalate.

We will write to their companies and any violator will lose his or her On Duty Card (ODC) permanently, which means you will lose your access card into the airport terminal permanently,” he said.

While commenting on the issue, the Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, said citizens should escalate acts of indiscipline at the airports to relevant authorities.

She said: “This indiscipline cuts across agencies, the private sector and vendors that work at the airport.”

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