The Minister of Interior, Bunmi Tunji-Ojo has announced on Tuesday that 55,000 of the 200,000 passport backlog had been resolved.He said that more would be cleared before the end of the two-week deadline set for the Immigration chief and that after the backlogs are cleared, Nigerians should be able to receive passports in two weeks.
He made this remark during a visit to his office in Abuja by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu.
This was contained in a statement released by Afonja Ajibola, Director of Press at the Ministry of Interior.According to him:“Nigerians must not be relegated from being citizens of Nigeria by denying them a passport.
“He reiterated his belief that we must get it right now, adding that he receives updates every morning; and that this very morning, he is been briefed that about 55,000 passports have been cleared, out of the 200,000 passports backlog he instructed to be cleared in two weeks.
“He then assured that by the time the backlogs are cleared, Nigerians will start enjoying the efficient service of having their passports issued within two weeks upon application.”
Speaking, Edu announced soft loans to widows of killed Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Immigration Service, Nigerian Correctional Service, and Federal Fire Service officers.She also vowed that convicts at correctional facilities will be empowered via skill development courses.
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“The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Beta Edu, said her Ministry’s Mandate has been expanded to cover more Nigerians, who are about 16 million who are susceptible to insecurity leading to their displacement, thereby causing humanitarian crises.
“She also said her ministry is ready to intervene in the provision of soft loans to the widows of deceased NSCDC, correctional officers, men and officers of Nigeria Immigration Service and Fire Service officers. According to her, inmates of Correctional facilities will start enjoying similar intervention through a skills acquisition programme.
- “She, however, said since the Federal Fire Service is an agency under the supervision of the Ministry that also responds to disaster, her attention will also be given in that direction; while NSCDC’s role in security intelligence will also be activated as part of the joint partnership.”