A SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE MINISTER OF INTERIOR, OGBENI RAUF AREGBESOLA AT THE FLAG-OFF OF E-PASSPORT, BIOMETIC VISA ISSUANCE IN JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA
I am delighted to witness this occasion of the roll-out of epassport and biometric visa in our Embassy here in Tokyo, Japan. We had received several requests from both the Nigerian community and the Embassy on the need to open a passport issuance centre here due to the distance Nigerians have to cover in order to have their passports re-issued.
2. In response to these requests, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, in his commitment to the citizens and ease of doing business, approved this facility and the service of issuing both e-passports and biometric visa in Japan. Suffice to say that this provision and service is not limited to Tokyo Japan; we will open tomorrow another e-passport and biometric visa facilities in our Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, bringing to a total of 44 foreign missions, 43 local and four front offices where Nigeria Immigration Service issues passports to our citizens.
3. I am aware that Japan does not accept dual citizenship, although Nigeria does. Because of this, I urge every Nigerian who renounces he or her Nigerian citizenship not to apply for the e-passport at this centre or anywhere. I will like to assure those Nigerian-Japanese who have accepted Japanese citizenship that a new visa regime that will grant them multiple entry into Nigeria up to the validity of their Japanese passports will commence soon.
4. The Biometric visa is an improved security on the current vignette visa we issue. We are proud to state that this new biometric visa will assist our national security and assist in combatting transnational organized crime. It conforms with international migration management and best practice.
5. I will like to seize this opportunity to call on Nigerians resident in Japan to respect the laws of the host country. Self-respect, particularly in foreign lands, is the foundation of wisdom and success. As our Ambassador at large in this peaceful and friendly country, you must exhibit at all times good conduct, character’ nobility and dignity.
6. Nigeria’s diplomatic relations with Japan began officially in 1964 though trade between us has been traced to as early as 1914. Today, Japan is one of our largest trading partners with Japanese products ranging from automobiles, electronics to kitchen knives are very popular brands. Japanese overseas assistance to Nigeria is commendable. Many of you who are students are enjoying Japanese government scholarship. It is therefore necessary that you work towards improving relations between us and promote Nigeria in the best way possible in culture and business.
7. It is important to state that this new visa and passport regime connects with MIDAS (migration information and data analysis system) which is linked with the INTERPOL data. This simply means criminals and their affiliates can no longer use our system anywhere in the world to perpetrate their crimes. We are proudly adopting technology to secure our land and join the global efforts at preventing human trafficking and illegitimate activities.
8. This is a laudable event, timely and in sync with the aspirations of our administration to improve governance and the quality of life of Nigerians everywhere. I must not forget to thank our partners who made this possible. On this note, I hereby commission the e-passport and biometric visa issuance facility in our Embassy in Tokyo, Japan to the glory of God and the benefit of our people and visitors and business people in Japan.
I thank you for your attention.
Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Long live The State of Japan
Long live the age long fraternal relationship between our two nations.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola Minister of Interior
Federal Republic of Nigeria