The Nigerian Community in Rome, Italy, has called on the Minister of Interior, Mr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, to address the challenges faced by Nigerians in the diaspora with regards to e-passports.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the President of the community, Chima Ibezim, highlighted the difficulties encountered by Nigerians in Italy regarding the issuance of e-passports.
The Federal Government had previously unveiled enhanced e-passport facilities at selected Nigerian Embassies in Europe on November 8. The facilities were inaugurated at the Nigerian Embassy in Rome by the Minister of Interior, who emphasized the government’s commitment to citizens’ diplomacy and improving services for the diaspora community
Ibezim, who is also the Financial Director of the APC Committee of Diaspora Chairmen (CDC), urged the Minister of Interior to assist Nigerians in Italy who are affected by e-passport issues. He pointed out that these challenges have caused significant difficulties for Nigerians in the country.
One of the primary concerns raised by Ibezim is that the requirement of the National Identification Number (NIN) has posed difficulties for Nigerians, specifically those who have variations or rearrangements of their names in their old passports and other valid identification documents. Furthermore, Nigerians in Italy have expressed their concerns about the increased passport price for minors who are not earning incomes, creating additional financial hardships for their parents and families.
Ibezim pleaded for a transitional period in which the old e-passports can run alongside the enhanced passports for a few years. This gradual implementation would help alleviate the difficulties and challenges faced by Nigerians in obtaining the new e-passports.