On Tuesday, the Minister of Interior, Bunmi Tunji-Ojo, said 55,000 of the 200,000 passport backlog had been cleared.
He added that more would be cleared before the end of the two-week deadline given to the Immigration boss, adding that after the backlogs are cleared, Nigerians should be able to obtain their passports in two weeks.
He spoke when the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, visited his office in Abuja.
This was contained in a statement by the Director of Press, Ministry of Interior, Afonja Ajibola.
He said, “Nigerians must not be relegated to 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 has been briefed that about 55,000 passports have been cleared, out of the 200,000 passport 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 promised widows of slain personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Immigration Service, Nigerian Correctional Service, and Federal Fire Service access to soft loans.
She also promised that inmates at the correctional centers would be empowered through skills acquisition programs.
She said, “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 the Nigeria Immigration Service and Fire Service. According to her, inmates of Correctional facilities will start enjoying similar interventions through a skills acquisition program.
“She, however, said since the Federal Fire Service is an agency under the supervision of the Ministry that also responds to disasters, 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.”