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Nigeria Adopts Biometric Passport Issuance

African nation to detect duplicate passports.

by / May 4, 2004
ABUJA, Nigeria -- Nigeria, the largest nation in Africa, has selected a complete biometric system for the issuance of passports. Nigeria has approximately 140 million citizens.

The "e-passport" system uses fingerprints, processed by ID Solutions, to meet that objective of "one citizen, one passport." The company will detect duplicate passport applications, and Nigerian government authorities will perform investigation and case resolution.

After authorities determine an individual has not applied for a duplicate passport, fingerprint information is encoded into a "smart card chip" and laminated into the non-tamperable passport. At an airport access point, the passport (chip) and live finger are compared so the combination determines that the person has only one identity (has not been issued multiple passports), and that this is the person to whom the passport has been issued.

Specifics of the Nigerian passport subcontracts are not disclosed, but the program total is reported to be US $138 Million. ID Solutions' subcontract is for a phase-one system to perform 10,000 searches per day against an enrolled database of 3 million persons, with speed in excess of 1,700,000 match operations per second.

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Miriam Jones Chief Copy Editor
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