The Minister of Interior, Bunmi Tunji-Ojo, made a significant announcement on Tuesday, revealing that 55,000 out of the 200,000 passport applications backlog have been successfully processed. He expressed optimism that more will be cleared before the two-week deadline set for the Immigration authorities. The minister emphasized that after the backlog is completely addressed, Nigerians should expect to obtain their passports within just two weeks of application.
This announcement came during a visit by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, to his office in Abuja. The statement was released by the Director of Press at the Ministry of Interior, Afonja Ajibola.
Minister Tunji-Ojo stressed the importance of ensuring that Nigerians are not deprived of their citizenship rights by delays in obtaining passports. He assured the public that efforts are being made to improve passport issuance efficiency. He disclosed that, as of that morning, approximately 55,000 passports had been cleared from the backlog of 200,000, which he had instructed to be resolved within a two-week timeframe.
He further pledged that once the backlogs are completely cleared, Nigerians would experience a streamlined service, with passports issued within just two weeks of application.
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In her remarks, Minister Betta Edu made promises to widows of deceased personnel from various security agencies, including the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Immigration Service, Nigerian Correctional Service, and Federal Fire Service. She committed to facilitating their access to soft loans. Additionally, she announced plans to empower inmates in correctional centers through skill acquisition programs.
Minister Edu expanded on her ministry’s mandate, highlighting its role in assisting approximately 16 million Nigerians who are susceptible to insecurity, leading to displacement and humanitarian crises. She reiterated her ministry’s readiness to provide support to widows of NSCDC, correctional officers, immigration officers, and fire service personnel through soft loans. Furthermore, she outlined initiatives aimed at enhancing the skills of inmates within correctional facilities.
Minister Edu also recognized the role of the Federal Fire Service in disaster response and expressed her commitment to supporting their efforts in that regard. She emphasized the importance of activating the NSCDC’s security intelligence role as part of a joint partnership.