• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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FG installs eGates at Lagos airport, gives timeline for other airports 

The federal government through the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has commenced the installation of eGates at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMA), Lagos.
This is in a bid to enhance national security, passenger facilitation and ease of doing business.
This is as it disclosed that over 107 thousand passports have been produced and applicants have not picked them up.
Automated border control systems (ABC) or eGates are automated self-service barriers which use data stored in a chip in biometric passports along with a photo or fingerprint taken at the time of entering the eGates to verify the passport holder’s identity.
Travellers undergo biometric verification using facial or iris recognition, fingerprints, or a combination of modalities. After the identification process is complete and the passport holder’s identity is verified, a physical barrier such as a gate or turnstile opens to permit passage.
If the passport holder’s identification is not verified or if the system malfunctions, then the gate or turnstile does not open
Speaking during the inspection of the newly installed eGate at the arrival section of Lagos airport on Friday, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the Minister of Interior said the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Abuja is already 100 per cent completed but this is just one terminal out of the others.
Tunji-Ojo said for Lagos airport, installation has started and what is being done is a User Acceptance Test (UAT) which is the last stage in the process.
“Lagos has three wings. This is Terminal 2. We have the D and E wings. Now you see that the gates have been installed. What they are doing now is called the User Acceptance Test (UAT) which is the last stage and by Monday morning, this wing will have been completed 100 per cent. As it is, it is already installed. So, we just need to align the sensor.
“From here, we will move the D Wing which has four gates because we can’t block the three entrances at the same time. We can’t work simultaneously because of the ease of passengers. So, we have to be taking them one after the other.
“The assurance we have is that by next weekend, the D Wing will have been fully completed. We will then be left with the E wing which has eight gates. This may take us another maximum of two weeks.
In the next three weeks from now, Lagos will be 100 per cent good to go, then we will move to other airports like Kano, Enugu and Port Harcourt which each have four gates. These will be faster. Lagos airport alone has 21 gates. Lagos is where you have the major traffic,” the minister said.
He said the electronic gates are important because of the enhancement of national security as it is connected to all databases across the world.
He said the NIS is making life easier for Nigerians and at the same time securing the country.
He also said the eGates enables ease of doing business.
“When you travel to New York and you get to JFK, as a foreigner, you are on the queue. An American carries his passport and goes in easily. That gives him lots of confidence that he is in his country. This is called sweet experience and this president is bent of giving Nigerians the sweet experience. It is about changing the narrative and telling us that things we see in other places can work in Nigeria,” Tunji-Ojo said.
He hinted that the project is not government-funded; it is a public-private partnership and part of the country’s order control management solution which is being deployed.
Also speaking during the inspection Kemi Nanna Nandap, Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) said over 107,000 passports have been produced and applicants have not picked them up.
Nandap called on Nigerians who have applied for passports, to go and pick them up.
She said the eGates being stalked will go a long way not only in addressing border security but also in passenger clearance and the productivity of NIS officers and their efficiencies and professionalism.
She said there are trainings ongoing and capacity building for officers on the usage of the gates.