ACG Idowu Adebowale O(Rtd) with ACG K. D Sadiq and Comptroller D. O. Odelade at the 60th Anniversary Lecture of the Nigeria Immigration Service Zone A, Zonal Headquarters

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] retired Assistant Comptroller General with the Nigeria Immigration Service ( NIS) Idowu Adebowale has said the rising exchange rates is affecting the production of passport booklets in the country and although that may lead to lower production, there are still booklets.

This is just as he said the reason the country is not producing the passport documents locally and reducing capital flight is the security features embedded within the booklet since it is afterall, a security document .

Adebowale made this known in an Interview as part of activities ongoing to celebrate the Nigeria Immigration Service at 60 after a lecture themed: Enhancing Seamless Regular Migration the NIS despite increase in foreign exchange cannot increase the price of the booklet advising Nigerians that the passport is a travel document and not a status symbol.

He said, ” Passport production involves booklets, these booklets are not produced in Nigeria and you don’t pay Naira, you pay foreign currency and meanwhile the people paying for the passport remain on the same rate.

” If you are able to buy 10,000 booklets with the amount you have in dollars, by the time the exchange rate goes up it can only mean that the same amount that you make from passports can only be fewer in number because we are not allowed to increase the price and there will be fewer booklets.

He however decried the urgency at which many Nigerians seek the document especially, as he theorised, that most of them are not even ready to use the document hence procuring for status purposes.

“We Nigerians do not want to travel, yet you want to take the passport as a status symbol and so there is a lot of pressure on the passport.”

Speaking on why the nation is not producing locally, he said the passport is an international documents which has features regulated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation ( ICAO) and reminded reporters of how easy it was to forge the Machine Readable Passport ( MRP) and tarnish the credibility of the Nigerian Passport.

“Passport is a security document that must have security features that mist comply with International standards and these standards are not set by Nigeria. It is set by ICAO of which Nigeria is a member and have domesticated its annexes.

” Now, if the highly developed countries are the ones setting the standard and you don’t have the competence to produce according to that standard what do you do? You produce a low quality? You want to produce at your own cost? That was part of the problems we had with the MRP that was produced locally because it was all over ‘Oluwole’ so we had to migrate,” he said

Earlier the Assistant Comptroller General ( ACG) K.A Sadiq spoke to officers and men of the Zone and charged them to be of good behaviour and so their best to project the service positively.

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