The Machine Readable Passport, MRP, used by Nigerians before the coming of the Obasanjo administration was produced locally by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting PLC, popularly called MINT. The MINT is the Nigerian Government’s official currency and other security documents printer but the NIS stopped to issue the MRPs to Nigerians after the launch of the e-passport in 2007.
When the Nigerian former President Olusegun Obasanjo paid a state visit to Malaysia in 2003 and visited Iris Corporation office where he witnessed a demonstration of the production of the e-passport, he was impressed by the security features of the e-passport. Instead of Obasanjo to return home and upgrade MINT to produce E-passport for Nigerians, he invited Iris Corporation to spearhead the implementation of Nigerian e-passport and ISTL was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission on 20th May 2003 to help the country produce the e-passport. With that, ISTL entered into a Public-Private Partnership, PPP, with the Federal Government for the upgrading of Nigerian passport to e-passport.
Since then, Malaysia has been responsible for producing the Nigerian e-passports until this year when MINT signed MoU with ISTL to domesticate the production of international passports (e-passports), in which the e-passports will be printed locally.