The Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, proudly announced the swift clearance of nearly 60,000 passport backlogs in just four working days.
This achievement comes as a direct response to the minister’s directive issued to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) last Thursday, urging them to expedite the processing of all pending passport applications.
Alao Babatunde, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Minister, quoted Tunji-Ojo as sharing this remarkable update during a courtesy visit by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, the visitation was informed by her ministry’s need to collaborate with the interior ministry to drastically reduce human trafficking and other related challenges.
“We are not just working on humanitarian endeavours as human trafficking, our NIS must help us change the story, completely.
“When we came on board, the passport crisis was an embarrassment. And, we said: it cannot continue.
“As of this morning, I can tell you that about 60,000 passport backlogs have been cleared, specifically 59,906.
“On Wednesday, September 6, 2023, when I gave the 2-week ultimatum, we had over 200,000 backlogs.
“We have recorded progress, and I maintain my word, that those backlogs must be cleared.
“So, you can be assured that our ministry is ready to work with you on any solution we consider thoughtful and progressive like the ones you have shared.
“We may only have to expand it to include the welfare of inmates in our correctional homes as they are Nigerians as well.
“Let’s see how they can benefit from your welfare packages. Of course, there is a lot we can achieve together, ” Tunji-Ojo was quoted as saying.