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Africa: Nigeria’s Government Set to Roll Out Biometric Gates At International Airports

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In a strategic move aimed at enhancing security and efficiency at Nigeria’s international airports, the Federal Government has finalized arrangements to implement biometric clearance gates in collaboration with the Nigeria Immigration Service.

The gates are expected to be ready at these airports by March 2024.

The international airports in Nigeria where the facilities will be installed are the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Port Harcourt International Airport, and Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu.

When put to use, the gates would provide seamless clearance services for passengers entering the country through any of the international airports.

READ: Africa: Nigeria Customs Service Records N90.43 Billion Revenue From Lagos Airport

Speaking during the inspection visit to the Abuja international airport on Monday, the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, said Lagos would get 17 gates, Abuja, 10; Port Harcourt and Kano would get five each, and Enugu would get four.

He added that the facilities would be a game changer for effective and efficient management of international passengers in the country.

READ: Africa: FAAN’S Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting Services Put out fire outbreak at Lagos Airport

Tunji-Ojo said, “I am impressed by the levels and pace of work I have seen here today. The facilities are about 70 per cent ready. This means our border control management system is on track. It also means that the Nigeria Immigration Service is ready to contribute its quota to the National Security Architecture.

“The efficiency of the services provided by the NIS determines whatever we see in our security outlook as a nation. All these are being done in line with global best practices and standards and in consonance with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu to provide quality services to Nigerians.

“We have decided that the more the gates at the airports, the easier it would be for passengers to be cleared. And looking at the ones that have been tested, it takes about 30 seconds for a passenger to clear, so I look at the solutions and the hardware, and I think they are top-notch.

“Once you check in you don’t need to have an encounter with Immigration officers anymore except you are a person of interest. This facility is not just for you to pass at record time, no. It is also to secure the nation and add another layer to our National Security Architecture.

“If a person is a person of interest, he can easily be flagged. And this gives our Immigration support to be able to effectively do their jobs.” The development is expected to end incessant delays experienced by passengers at the nation’s airports.

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