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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Nigeria to roll out biometric clearance gates at international airports

Federal Government's Initiative Aims to Enhance Border Security and Expedite Passenger Clearance

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In a bid to modernize border control operations and streamline passenger clearance processes, the Federal Government of Nigeria has unveiled plans to deploy biometric clearance gates at key international airports across the country. Scheduled for installation by March 2024, these cutting-edge facilities mark a significant step towards enhancing security measures and expediting entry procedures for travelers.

The initiative targets major international airports, including 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. Once operational, these gates will revolutionize the clearance experience for passengers arriving in Nigeria, ensuring seamless transit through immigration checkpoints.

During an inspection visit to the Abuja international airport, Interior Minister Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo expressed satisfaction with the progress of the project, highlighting its potential to bolster national security efforts. With Lagos set to receive 17 gates, Abuja 10, and Port Harcourt, Kano, and Enugu airports allocated five and four gates, respectively, the deployment aims to optimize efficiency and effectiveness in passenger management.

Tunji-Ojo emphasized the gates’ role as a pivotal component of President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, underscoring the government’s commitment to providing high-quality services to citizens. He lauded the gates’ advanced technology, noting that clearance times could be as swift as 30 seconds per passenger, significantly reducing wait times and congestion.

The minister outlined the broader implications of the initiative, highlighting its dual function of facilitating swift passage for legitimate travelers while bolstering national security measures. By automating the clearance process, the biometric gates enable immigration officers to focus resources on individuals flagged as persons of interest, thereby enhancing overall border surveillance capabilities.

The introduction of biometric clearance gates heralds a new era in Nigeria’s aviation sector, promising to alleviate long-standing challenges associated with airport delays and congestion. As the nation prepares to implement these state-of-the-art facilities, travelers can anticipate a smoother and more efficient entry experience, underscoring the government’s commitment to modernizing border control infrastructure in line with global standards.

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