FG starts e-gate installation at international airports to prevent immigration personnel from harassing travellers.

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has commenced the setting up of E-Gates facilities in Abuja’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, posted the development on his X account yesterday after inspecting installation work currently underway at the International Airport in Abuja.

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’s X post reads.

Upon completion across all 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.

Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo

Alongside his visit to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport to oversee the E-gates project, Tunji-Ojo indicated that he evaluated the implementation of the E-border data and control centre at the Nigeria Immigration Service headquarters, targeting an enhancement of national security.

In November 2023, Tunji-Ojo said that e-gates would be implemented across all international airports in Nigeria by February 2024.

“Once you’re Nigerian and you’re coming to Nigeria, you will have no business seeing an immigration officer, except if you’re a person of interest,” Tunji-Ojo stated.

Also, in December 2023, Caroline Adepoju, the acting Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), disclosed plans for the service to enhance border security and manage migration more effectively nationwide by introducing electronic gates (e-gates) and additional logistics at airports and various entry points.

The acting Comptroller General further stated that the electronic gates (E-gates) would be set and installed at certain airports to facilitate the entry and exit of passengers travelling to and from the country.

So how does E-gates work?

Basically, e-gates work through biometric verification which is performed on passengers using facial or iris recognition, fingerprints, or a combination of modalities.

A physical barrier, such as a gate or turnstile, opens to allow passage after the identification process is completed and the passport holder’s identity is verified. The gate or turnstile will not open if the passport holder’s identification is not verified or if the system malfunctions and an immigration officer will meet the person.

Automated border control systems usually collect information on the biometric page of the passport, such as name, sex, date of birth, passport number, passport photograph, nationality, and passport country of origin. Other information, such as travel details, visa information, and the facial biometric template, may be collected as well.

When travellers’ passport booklets are processed by e-gates, they are usually no longer stamped.