The Minister of Interior, Bunmi Tunji-Ojo, announced on Tuesday that significant progress had been made in clearing the backlog of passport applications in Nigeria. Out of the 200,000 passports backlog, 55,000 have already been processed and cleared. He assured the public that more would be cleared before the end of the two-week deadline given to the Immigration boss. Once the backlogs are completely cleared, Nigerians should be able to obtain their passports within just two weeks of application.
This announcement was made during a visit to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, at his office in Abuja. The statement was released by Afonja Ajibola, the Director of Press at the Ministry of Interior.
Minister Tunji-Ojo emphasized the importance of ensuring that Nigerians are not denied their citizenship rights by being unable to obtain passports promptly. He highlighted his commitment to improving the passport issuance process, noting that he receives daily updates on progress. He revealed that as of that morning, approximately 55,000 passports had already been cleared out of the 200,000 backlog he had instructed to be cleared within two weeks.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, also pledged support for widows of slain personnel from various security and civil service agencies, including the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Immigration Service, Nigerian Correctional Service, and Federal Fire Service. She promised them access to soft loans and outlined plans to empower inmates in correctional centers through skills acquisition programs.
Dr. Edu further expanded on her ministry’s mandate, which now includes assisting approximately 16 million Nigerians who are susceptible to insecurity and displacement, leading to humanitarian crises. She emphasized the commitment to providing financial support to the widows and skills training to inmates in correctional facilities. Additionally, she highlighted the role of the Federal Fire Service in disaster response and security intelligence activities, indicating that her ministry would also focus on these areas as part of a joint partnership with relevant agencies.