In a significant development, the Minister of Interior, Bunmi Tunji-Ojo, revealed on Tuesday that substantial headway has been made in addressing the longstanding backlog of passport applications in Nigeria.
According to Tunji-Ojo, out of the 200,000 passport application backlog, approximately 55,000 have been successfully cleared.
The Minister expressed his commitment to further expedite this process, assuring Nigerians that more applications will be processed before the conclusion of the two-week deadline imposed on the immigration authorities.
Speaking during a visit to his office in Abuja by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, Minister Tunji-Ojo emphasized the importance of ensuring that Nigerians are not denied their right to obtain a passport.
He underscored his dedication to achieving efficiency in passport issuance, stating that upon the clearance of the backlogs, Nigerians should expect to receive their passports within a mere two weeks of application.
This encouraging update was communicated through a statement released by Afonja Ajibola, the Director of Press at the Ministry of Interior.
Minister Edu, during her visit, made significant announcements regarding her ministry’s commitment to providing support to vulnerable groups.
She pledged to extend access to soft loans to widows of deceased personnel from various security and correctional agencies, including the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Immigration Service, the Nigerian Correctional Service, and the Federal Fire Service. Additionally, she outlined plans to empower inmates within correctional facilities through skills acquisition programs.
Furthermore, Minister Edu highlighted her ministry’s expanded mandate, which now encompasses approximately 16 million Nigerians susceptible to insecurity and displacement, leading to humanitarian crises.
She emphasized her ministry’s readiness to intervene in providing much-needed assistance to the widows of deceased personnel and the inmates of correctional facilities through various programs.
Betta Edu also recognized the role of the Federal Fire Service in disaster response, indicating her intention to offer support in that direction. Additionally, she expressed the importance of activating the security intelligence role of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps as part of a collaborative partnership.
These efforts underscore the commitment of the Nigerian government to address critical issues, expedite passport processing, and provide vital support to those in need.
As the passport backlog continues to be cleared and support programs are implemented, Nigerians can look forward to more efficient passport services and increased empowerment opportunities for vulnerable populations.
(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; email@example.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)