NEWS

Don’t Cancel e-passport Contract- Reps Tell FG

The House of Representatives issued a warning to the Federal Government on Tuesday, advising against terminating the contract with Iris Smart Technologies Limited, a private firm responsible for manufacturing electronic passport booklets.

The House emphasized that acquiring the necessary equipment to incorporate advanced security features into Nigerian e-passports would cost the government approximately N22 billion. Additionally, they cautioned that the firm’s production and supply of 10 million booklets would be disrupted.

These recommendations were part of a report from the House Ad Hoc Committee investigating the proposed domestication and processing of Nigerian passports, which was reviewed and adopted during the plenary session on Tuesday.

In the report, the committee highlighted that the agreement between Iris Smart Technologies Limited and the Federal Ministry of Interior, renewed in April 2025, specified that the contract’s duration would cover the delivery of an additional 10 million passport booklets.

The committee stated that it would be legally disadvantageous for the Federal Government to unilaterally terminate the agreement before its completion, either after the production of 10 million e-passports or the fulfillment of the remaining obligations.

They recommended that the Federal Government engage in negotiations with ISTL, as stated in Article 4 of the agreement, to explore viable options for maintaining the e-passport infrastructure until the contract is fully executed.

Furthermore, the report advised the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc to comply with this opinion in the best interest of the Federal Government, in order to avoid unnecessary financial liability through potential litigation or costly dispute resolution mechanisms.

The report also highlighted the need for a technology partner for the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc to undertake the e-passport project, as the existing secured e-passport network encompasses systems and equipment worth over N22 billion. Consequently, appointing a new booklet solution provider would necessitate discarding this technology infrastructure and incurring additional expenses to acquire and implement a new network.

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