The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has announced that 55,000 passport applications have been cleared out of 200,000 backlogs, following his two-week deadline to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
The minister who made the remarks in his office in Abuja on Tuesday during a meeting with the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, noted that the information was from daily updates he received from the NIS over his directive.
He maintained that under his watch, Nigerians home and abroad would not be subjected to unnecessary hardships and bottlenecks in the process of obtaining passport booklets.
He also assured that when the backlogs are cleared, Nigerians would be collecting their passport documents after two weeks of applying for them, insisting that the present administration is poised to remove all bottlenecks hindering the delivery of such services.
According to a press statement signed by the Director of Press in the Ministry of Interior, Afonja Ajibola, the two ministries agreed to collaborate in order to reduce poverty in Nigeria.
They agreed on a joint inter-ministerial committee to address the challenges of poverty, insecurity and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).
Tunji-Ojo said the two ministries have a semblance of mandate, believing that it is in such collaboration that the objectives of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu can be delivered effectively.
He appreciated the humanitarian affairs minister for broadening the mandate of the ministry to cover vulnerable ex-servicemen of services under the supervision of the ministry and inmates of correctional facilities.
Earlier, Beta Edu applauded the minister of interior for taking his work head-on, asserting that the mandate of her ministry has been expanded to cover more Nigerians, especially about 16 million Nigerians who are susceptible to insecurity.
She regretted that their plight had led to their displacement and caused humanitarian crises.
She also said her ministry is ready to intervene in the provision of soft loans to the widows of deceased NSCDC, correctional officers, men and officers of Nigeria Immigration Service and Fire Service officers who died while on duty.
According to her, inmates of correctional facilities will start enjoying similar interventions through a skills acquisition programme.
Edu said since the Federal Fire Service is an agency under the supervision of the ministry of interior with responsibility for disaster issues, due attention would also be given to it while the NSCDC’s role in security intelligence would be activated as part of the joint partnership.
The meeting had in attendance the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Oluwatoyin Akinlade, Directors in the Ministry, CGs of Agencies, DG NAPTIP, and directors of the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry and the minister’s aides.