The Federal Government has revealed plans to produce at least 24,000 passports daily to completely eradicate the delays citizens experience in obtaining their passports.
The production would commence immediately after the 200,000 backlogs of passports are cleared.
The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo disclosed this in Abuja on Friday when a delegation from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes visited his office.
A statement by the Ministry’s Director of Press, Ajibola Afonja, quoted the Minister as saying that about 97,000 out of the 200,000 backlogs of passports had been cleared.
The statement partly read, “The Minister averred that the President is interested in the country’s development, therefore, there would be no room for duplication of responsibility by the agency and the ministry.
“He further cited an example of the ongoing reforms in the NIS for passport issuance; he confirmed that “as of this morning (Friday), about 97,000 passports have been cleared, and he assured Nigerians that 24,000 passports would be produced in a day when the backlogs are cleared”.
The Minister sought the partnership of UNODC on the provision of skills acquisition to Nigerian Correctional facility inmates, assuring that the agency’s interventions would not be politicized.
“Tunji-Ojo said Correctional facilities should be a Center of Reformation of inmates, as indicated by the nomenclature of the facilities. He said the custodial facilities should not be seen as condemnation centers.
“The Minister made the passionate appeal and implored the United Nations Agency to always collaborate with the Ministry by engaging it for any interventions across the services of the Ministry in order to avoid duplications, which often breed corruption.
“He further allayed the fear of UNODC functionaries in Nigeria that their intervention would not be politicised. Hon. Tunji-Ojo assured the team that he is not one of such politicians, adding that he is not just a politician but a technopolitician.
“He assured the visiting UNODC team that as long as he remains the Minister in the Ministry of Interior, their intervention would surely be implemented with the objectives of the projects.
“The Minister also solicited the support of the organisation for advocacy, and reorientation of Nigerian’s minds about inmates after serving their jail term.
‘He pleaded for the expansion of the collaboration to cover the six geopolitical zones in the country. “
Earlier during the visit, the UNODC team leader, Mr. Oliver Stolpe, said they were in the ministry to see the areas of collaboration, and equally, he enumerated areas in which the body has intervened.