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Nigeria to install e-Gates at airports to ease travel processing

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The Nigerian government has announced plans to install electronic gates (e-gates) at airports across the country to streamline immigration processing for arriving passengers.

Interior Minister Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo stated that e-gates will be implemented at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja and four other major airports by March 2024.

E-gates use biometric technology such as facial recognition to automatically verify travelers’ identities and passport information. Once identification is confirmed, the e-gate opens to allow the traveler to proceed without manual document checks.

Tunji-Ojo inspected the e-gate facility currently being set up at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, and expressed satisfaction with the progress. He said the technology will “give Nigerians a sweet experience” and reduce dependence on immigration officers.

Today, I took a tour of ongoing projects, first the E-Gates facility currently being installed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and the E-border data and control centre at the Nigeria Immigration Service headquarters”, the Minister said in a post on his X handle.

Upon completion across all the five (5) International Airports in the country, the E-gates will reduce human contact and give Nigerians seamless entrance into the country while the E-border system will enhance national security,” he said.

The minister stated that the e-gate scanning process takes only 30 seconds per passenger compared to lengthy waits previously. The more e-gates in place, the faster processing will be.

Plans are underway to install 17 e-gates at Lagos airport, 10 in Abuja, and 5 each in Port Harcourt, Kano, and Enugu, optimizing clearance times.

Tunji-Ojo added that the e-gates will enhance security. Along with a new immigration command and control center, the automation will add layers to Nigeria’s border security architecture.

Read also: X settles with laid-off Ghana staff after 14 months

The development comes after complaints of delays and harassment of passengers by immigration personnel demanding bribes. The e-gates are aimed at improving travelers’ experience while curbing corruption.

Currently, four e-gates have been set up in Abuja. The interior minister pushed for two additional gates, bringing the total to ten. The remaining six are scheduled for completion this month.

With e-gates in place, Nigerian returnees will no longer be at the mercy of immigration officers unless they are persons of interest. The technology will usher in a new era of efficient, traveler-friendly immigration at Nigerian airports.

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