FOREIGN MINISTRY ANNOUNCES COMMENCEMENT OF PASSPORT ISSUANCE TO FORMER REFUGEES IN NIGERIA
Monrovia, September 19, 2012: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to announce the commencement of the issuance of Liberian ECOWAS Biometric Passports to former Liberian refugees in the Federal Republic of Nigeria beginning this week.
The Foreign Ministry release states that a team of ten (10) persons including four passport officers and an IT technician, two officers from the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, an official from the Liberia Refugees Repatriation and Resettlement Commission and UNHCR personnel, departed the country on Sunday September 16, 2012 for Lagos, Nigeria, to begin the passport issuance process.
According to the Foreign Ministry release five hundred and twenty three (523) former refugees are expected to receive official Liberian travel document during the 14 exercise at two locations in the densely populated Nigerian city of Lagos.
The passport issuance is in fulfillment of the expiration of refugees’ status of thousands of Liberians across the West African Sub-region. Liberians who are to receive ECOWAS Biometric passport as official travelling document are persons who have decided to continue to remain in their host country as resident aliens.
This round of passport issuance to the more than 500 Liberians in Lagos is the first in several phases of what is expected to be a long process of passport issuance to Liberians across West Africa, particularly in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Guinea.
Signed: Horatio Bobby Willie
Assistant Minister/Public Affairs