The Central Association of Nigerians in the United Kingdom, CANUK, has said the suspension of biometrics capturing by the Nigeria High Commission for persons interested in applying for the e-passport will last for about one week.
 
Biometrics capturing is required in the application and processing of e-passports.

In a statement on Saturday, the Nigeria High Commission in London said it had suspended biometric capturing for persons interested in applying for the e-passport.
 
The commission said the biometrics capturing was suspended after a meeting to deliberate on issues surrounding the assault of its staff members.
 
The Nigerian government had launched the enhanced e-passport to address issues of forgery and improve the application process.
 
But in its statement on Saturday, the commission noted that suspension is effective from March 28.
 
“The staff of the High Commission are currently being assaulted on regular basis on account of attendant frustrations, particularly by Nigerians who travel long distances from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Manchester, Cardiff, Birmingham, etc., to the Mission in London without positive resolution of their respective consular issues.
 
“Nigerians with dual citizenship desirable of renewing their British Passports and those seeking the issuance of British Resident Permit (BRP) are also usually on edge because of the inability of the Mission to resolve their legitimate needs and requirements,” the commission had said in the statement.
 
However, CANUK on Sunday in a statement titled, ‘Suspension of biometric capturing to be over within a week,’ noted that everyone who had submitted their passport application would be given an appointment date.
 
According to the statement signed by CANUK’s Ayo Akinfe, Chairman and Jumoke Ariyo, Vice-chairperson, Passports, the association had been working with the commission to quickly resolve the issue.
 
“CANUK would like to provide you with an update in the situation regarding the recent decision by the Nigerian high commission in London to suspend the capturing of biometric data for the new enhanced e-passports.
 
“Over the weekend, CANUK has been working with the high commission tirelessly on this matter and so far, this is the situation.
 
“Ambassador Sarafa Ishola, the Nigerian High Commissioner to St James Court, has provided the following answers to some of the questions several of you have raised:
 
“[1] This suspension shall only be in place for about a week.
 
“[2] Everyone who has submitted their passport applications will ultimately be given appointment dates.
 
“[3] Those affected by this suspension will be given fresh appointment dates.
 
“[4] Any Nigeria who does not have a British passport and needs to travel urgently should ask the high commission for an emergency travel certificate.
 
“[5] The high commission is committed to clearing any backlog that may build up as a result of the suspension.
 
“[6] Anyone flying using their expired Nigerian passport should please confirm with their airline that it is allowed before going to the airport.”

CANUK was formed by the Nigeria High Commission in the United Kingdom in 2005 to unite the various Nigerian groups under one umbrella organisation. It was also formed to ensure that the welfare, views, and community interests of Nigerians in the UK are represented in a harmonious and organised manner, and to create a forum through which their voice could be heard.

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