Nigeria Begins Installation Of Biometric Gates At Airports


The Federal Government has commenced installation of biometric equipment at airports to quicken screening of international passengers.

As part of measures to reduce check-in time for international travellers, the Government will install 30-seconds biometric clearance gates for the Nigeria Immigration Service NIS at all international airports across the country.

According to the Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo who undertook a tour of the biometric equipment installed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, and the Command and Control Centre at the NIS Headquarters on Monday, the facilities would ensure effective and efficient management of international passengers in the country.

He said the biometric gates can screen and clear a passenger within 30 seconds without any interface or contact with Immigration personnel.

Tunji-Ojo added that the facilities would be ready in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, Abuja and Enugu by March.

According to him, Lagos would have 17 gates, Abuja 10, Port Harcourt and Kano 5 each and Enugu 4. He said the Advanced Passenger Information System APIS as well as the Command and Control Centre facilities had been integrated not just for seamless entry and exit for passengers, but to add another layer to the national security architecture.

The Minister who was conducted around the facilities by the Comptroller of Immigration in Charge of the Abuja International Airport, Mohammed Adamu, said whatever is happening within the airports’ domains would be seen in real-time at the Command and Control Centre to enable security agencies to monitor persons of interest entering the country.

Speaking after the inspection, the Minister said; “I am impressed by the level and pace of works I have seen here today. The facilities are about 70 percent 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 a top-notch. I am happy with the quality of work and I am happy with the prospects of giving Nigerians the experience and once it is completed, Nigerians will no longer be at the mercy of Immigration officers whenever they arrive the country. “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”, he added.

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