April 19, 2024

New airport e-gates would help flag persons of interests, says FG


By Omeiza Ajayi, ABUJA

The Federal Government said its decision to install electronic gates at all the nation’s international airports would help flag unwanted persons or persons of interest from entering Nigeria, a move it said would boost national security.

Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo disclosed this on Friday when he inspected the gates at the arrival section of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja as well as the Command and Control Centre at the headquarters of the Nigeria Immigration Service NIS.

Noting that the gates would eliminate the inconveniences associated with clearance at the arrival lounge, the minister said rather than several minutes, travellers arriving the country would now spend few seconds at the gates.He said; “By 29th April, all the terminals in Lagos will have their 21 e-gates and by the third week of May, Kano, hopefully would have had its four gates installed as well as four e-gates each in Port Harcourt and Enugu.

“The architecture is good. We have tested it using various scenarios and we saw that one, with a Nigerian carrying a valid passport, it takes less than 30 seconds , actually about 24 seconds which is a record time and massive improvement from minutes that we have currently. We tested with people carrying other person’s passports and what we saw is that it is impossible for you to use another person’s passport or an expired passport to enter into Nigeria with this solution. So, it has enhanced our security, it has made the work of the Nigeria Immigration Service so seamless and I believe that in the next four weeks, we would have crossed the Rubicon”.

According to the Minister, the Command and Control Centre at the immigration headquarters is already 99 percent delivered.

“We are here to renew the hopes of Nigerians by virtue of our actions”, he said, adding that the Airport Command and Control Centre has been subjected to different tests with fake and expired passports rejected while genuine ones were cleared.

“With this massive infrastructure, we believe that no unwanted persons or persons of interests can find their ways into Nigeria. Our security through the Airports and in the Airport domains are guaranteed. 

“We say no and never again to inconveniences because the #RenewedHope is about pleasant experiences and President Bola Tinubu is all about changing the narrative.

“It is a testimony to what Mr President told us from day one on his Renewed Hope Agenda. He asked us to change the narratives and make passenger movements in and out of the country seamless. 

“You can see that we have all our team here working in synergy with the authorities of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria FAAN the Nigeria Customs Service and other stakeholders”, he stated. 

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