Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, announced that the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) successfully resolved a backlog of approximately 60,000 passport applications in just four days. Tunji-Ojo made this revelation during a courtesy visit by Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, at his office in Abuja on Tuesday,Daily Trust reports.

He revealed that this accomplishment was a significant step in addressing the overall backlog of over 200,000 pending passport applications. The minister had previously issued a directive to the NIS to clear all these pending applications within a two-week timeframe.

Tunji-Ojo emphasized his commitment to resolving the passport crisis that had been plaguing the country, stating, “When we assumed office, the passport crisis was a national embarrassment, and we were determined to put an end to it. As of this morning, I can proudly announce that approximately 60,000 passport backlogs have been successfully cleared, to be precise, 59,906.”

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He also reaffirmed his dedication to fulfilling his earlier promise, saying, “On September 6, when I issued the two-week ultimatum, we had more than 200,000 backlogs. Nevertheless, we have made remarkable progress, and I stand by my word that these backlogs must be addressed.”

In response, Minister Betta Edu explained that her visit aimed to foster collaboration between the two ministries to combat human trafficking. She emphasized that this partnership would extend to addressing related challenges such as improving the welfare of veterans, addressing underemployment, and reducing poverty.

Edu stressed the importance of the Interior Ministry’s role in combating human trafficking, given its supervisory authority over the NIS. Minister Tunji-Ojo expressed his support for this initiative, aligning it with President Bola Tinubu’s “Renewed Hope Agenda.”

Tunji-Ojo commended Edu’s efforts and highlighted the necessity of working together, not in isolation, as directed by the President. He noted that they could expand their collaboration to include improving the welfare of inmates in correctional centers, emphasizing that these inmates are also Nigerian citizens deserving of welfare support. He concluded by stating, “Let’s explore the possibilities and achievements that can arise from our joint efforts.”


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