Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Why we’re introducing e-gate for clearance of international passengers at airports – Minister

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, says Nigerians returning from foreign countries will soon enjoy their arrivals at the nation’s airports with the introduction of e-gate, an electronic gate that has all the modern facilities required to scan passengers who just came into the country via the airports easily and faster without the usual delay.

The minister made the promise on Monday while inspecting the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) ongoing installation of an e-gate (scanner) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

He said the era of unnecessary delay of passengers who just came into the country due to manual scanning by immigration officers would be a thing of the past by the time the project came to fruition.

Tunji-Ojo recalled that the Federal Government had promised Nigerians that upon their arrival into the country would enjoy a seamless passage at the airports through e-gate unlike in the past.

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“So, I came to inspect the e-gate project that is ongoing and I am happy with the progress of work being done so far; eight e-gates are to be installed at the Abuja airport. But I told them that eight will not be acceptable by me; and that they have to increase it by two to make it 10.

“So far, they have succeeded in installing some and from the assurances given by the contractor, the remaining ones will be delivered before the end of the month, to make it 10 in all.”

The minister explained that the more the number of e-gates, the lesser the waiting period by passengers.

“You know the more the e-gate, then the easier it will be for passengers to be cleared and looking at the one that had been tested; I learnt that it is about 30 seconds to clear an individual. This I believe is a record time anywhere in the world; and having looked at the solutions and the hard ware, is unarguably one of the best.

“This is a fact; because as you can see, it is a matter of putting your passport and it scans it, opens the gate, read your facials, your bio-metrics, it will capture you; and then you leave. You do not need to have an encounter with any Immigration officer.

The minister explained further that for the country to also add another layer to its national security architecture, it should be able to have about two or three licence verifications.

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This, he said, would enable the appropriate authority to easily flag anybody or a passenger who happened to be a person of interest or on the watch list. He added that by the time the project came on stream, it would go a long way to support NIS officers to enable them to effectively do their jobs.

“By the time the project comes to fruition, it will be a new story and will be another milestone in the annals of the country and NIS. The project is not just in Abuja; we are looking at delivering about 16 in Lagos, 8 in the D-WING and 8 in the E-WING. As well as one in the private wing in Lagos to make it 17 in total; about five in Kano,  four in Enugu and four in Port Harcourt.”


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