The Nigerian Ambassador to Portugal, Mrs Ijeoma Bristol, on Monday said that the absence of an e-passport unit in the embassy was posing challenges to Nigerians in Portugal.
Bristol made the announcement at a reception in honour of the Foreign Affairs Minister, Amb. Olugbenga Ashiru, when he visited Lisbon.
“A lot of Nigerians in Portugal are trying to make ends meet and cannot afford to go to Spain to renew their passports,” she said.
It would be recalled that the Nigeria Immigration Service in 2007 introduced e-passport to check growing cases of forgery, duplication and identity theft associated with the machine-readable passport.
NAN however, learnt that Nigerians in countries without the e-passport facility travelled to neighbouring nations having the facility to acquire the document.
The envoy also said that Nigerians in Portugal were faced with the challenge of obtaining drivers’ licence.
According to her, the non-acceptance of Nigerian drivers’ licence by the Portuguese authorities remains a challenge.
NAN learnt that with such challenges, it would be difficult for Nigerians who did no speak Portuguese to drive, especially as a driving test in that language was required.
In his remarks, Ashiru, re-echoed government’s resolved to strengthen its embassies and missions abroad, saying that the ministry would continue to push for increased funding.
The minister also charged the Nigerian community to continue to promote the nation’s image positively by being law abiding in their host nation.
According to statistics from the embassy, more than 1,500 Nigerians are registered as residents in Portugal.(NAN)