The Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has confirmed the clearance of almost 60,000 passport backlogs within four working days.
This is in response to the directives given to the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) last week Thursday by the minister, to clear all pending passport applications.
Alao Babatunde, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Minister, quoted Tunji-Ojo as disclosing this on Tuesday in Abuja while receiving the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, on a courtesy call.
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.