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Why Saudi Arabia introduced bio-metric data capturing – NAHCON

The need to checkmate human trafficking and the activities of over stayers and absconders in Saudi Arabia after pilgrimage led to the introduction of bio-metric data capturing by the kingdom, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said. 

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Saudi Arabia had, in 2017, modified its immigration laws to make biometric verification compulsory for all intending visitors.

Only three capturing centres, Abuja, Kano and Lagos, are approved by the Saudi authority for Nigerian visa applicants. 

NAHCON chairman, Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammad stressed the need for synergy and collaborative efforts by all relevant government agencies to tackle human trafficking. 

 Muhammad stated this when he led other staff of the commission on a courtesy visit to NAPTIP headquarters in Abuja, according to a statement by Fatima Mustapha, NAHCON’s Head of Media.

The statement said the two agencies have agreed to cooperate to tackle the menace of human trafficking.

The NAHCON chair therefore called on the office of the National Security Adviser to coordinate all the agencies involved in the business of anti-human trafficking in order to find a lasting solution to the menace especially the route to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Chairman pointed out that the effort of the Nigeria Immigration Service in the introduction of e-passport had helped to reduce the incident drastically unlike in the past, but according to him there was need to evolve new strategy to deal with the menace.

Responding, the Director-General of NAPTIP, Mrs. Julie Okali-Donli expressed appreciation to NAHCON for identifying with the good work of NAPTIP.

She expressed NAPTIP readiness to work with the commission to curb the menace of illegal human trafficking as contained in the provision of the law establishing the Agency to prosecute any person or organization involved in the act.

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