The Nigerian government has launched a temporary passport to replace the Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC). The passport was launched by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, this month.
The temporary passport is an electronic document with all the features of a regular passport but valid for one trip. It will be retrieved from the user at the entry point. The temporary passport is International Civil Aviation Organisation -compliant and is valid for only 30 days.
“It is a replacement for the hitherto Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC) which was issued to Nigerians in emergency situations where their passports were not available and had the need to travel to Nigeria,” Mr Aregbesola said.
“This new document is not a replacement for the Nigerian passport, it will only serve a temporary purpose in the case of loss or misplacement of the Nigerian passport by a Nigerian abroad.
“In the light of the present security challenges faced by the country, the temporary passport will no doubt help to checkmate the excesses of criminal elements that take advantage of the ETC to infiltrate the country.
“We are putting measures in place that will make obtaining a passport very easy once they come to fruition,” he said.
The Comptroller-General of Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, said the temporary passport would be valid for 30 days from the day of issuance, adding that once you arrived the country you cannot travel back with it.
“Embassies have been complaining to us on our temporary passport which does not have database nor biometric features. This, however, has been a huge security threat to us and the host country. The temporary passport is a document with blue colour and contains four pages which has a passport photograph inside,” he added.
“It has enhanced our data system, it is connected to our data page and there is an end to end connectivity with what is captured and what is in our data page,” he said.