Nigerian High Commission suspends new Enhanced E-Passport biometrics capture

0
303

Uba Group

Uba Group

BY MAYOWA SAMUEL

The biometrics capture on the new Enhanced E-Passport at the Nigeria High Commission in London, United Kingdom has been suspended.

Disclosing this in a statement at the weekend, the Commission stated that the suspension of the biometrics capture of the Enhanced E-passport which was launched in London on November 23, 2021, will take effect from Monday, March 28, 2022, until all challenges regarding the exercise are resolved.

The decision was arrived at a meeting of the Nigerian Community on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, at the Conference Room of the Nigerian High Commission, London, to address the challenges regarding the issuance of passports.

While the Commission expressed regrets about the inconvenience this will cause, it stated that the decision was taken in the interest of the Nigerians in the U.K and to avoid the escalation of matters after reports of assault of staff of the High Commission by Nigerian travellers due to frustration from not getting resolutions to their various grievances.

The statement reads in part, “The issuance, renewal, and operations since the introduction of the new Enhanced E-passport have been fraught with many challenges, particularly on the issuance of National Identification Number (NIN) and the appointments for biometrics capture. The Mission feels and shares in the pains of teeming Nigerians since the launching of the new E-passport scheme in the United Kingdom by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.

“The staff of the High Commission are currently being assaulted on a regular basis on account of attendant frustrations, particularly by Nigerians who travel long distances from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Manchester, Cardiff, Birmingham to the Mission in London without positive resolution of their respective consular issues. Nigerians with dual citizenship desirable of renewing their British Passports and those seeking the issuance of British Resident Permit (BRP) are also usually on edge because of the inability of the Mission to resolve their legitimate needs and requirements.

“In view of the present precarious situation similar to the situation of the past, particularly the continuous physical and verbal assaults of the staff of the Mission, a meeting of the Nigerian Community was convened to find a solution to the challenges associated with passport issuance before it deteriorates into avoidable calamities.

“Consequently, the biometrics capture on the new Enhanced EPassport at the Nigeria High Commission in London is hereby suspended with effect from Monday, 28th March 2022, until these challenges are resolved, in the interest of the Nigerian Community in the United Kingdom.

“Whilst we regret the inconveniences the suspension may cause, the Emergency Travel Certificate window and visas for British- Nigerians are available as a stop-gap measure,” it noted.