Interior Ministry Records 45,751 Business, 38,051 Citizenship Applications in Two years

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By Kuni Tyessi

The Ministry of Interior has disclosed that it has recorded total business applications of 45,751 as well as 38,051 citizenship applications from September 2018 to October 2020, adding that it has led to improvement in income generation for the government.

Speaking Wednesday in Abuja, at the 4th Quarter 2020 Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Units’ Consultative Forum (3PUCF) of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), hosted by the ministry, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, also called on the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, (OHCSF) to professionalise the PPP Units in all MDAs of the federal government.

He added that the call for professionalising the PPP Units in all MDAs has become necessary especially with the infrastructure gap bedevilling the country as well as to ensure continuity, reduce public sector administrative cost, allows for shared risk, reduce the problem of public sector budget constraints and to also provide for easy monitoring of PPP projects across the country.

The permanent secretary, who was represented by the Director, Citizenship and Business Department, Mrs Moremi Soyinka-Onijala, stated further that it has become imperative for government to look beyond its budgetary provisions for infrastructure development and embrace PPP options that has been globally recognised as project delivery process.

He emphasized that in line with the recent trends in PPP, his ministry was able to attract private sector investors for the development of some identified PPP projects in the security sector, especially in the areas of expatriate quota and citizenship automation; processing of non-judgemental visa applications globally, immigration and borderline management; production of emergency passports and recently the expansion and development of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS)’s Shoe and Garment Factories in Aba, Abia State and a leather factory in Janguza, Kano State, which he said the off-take and concession agreements are at the verge of being finalised for signing.

According to him, “The ministry also has a number of pipeline PPP concept projects under various stages of development, notably in the areas of staff housing, correctional service farmland development, land swap projects as well as other PPP concept projects initiated by the Federal Fire Service, among others.

“The ministry has recorded total business applications of 45,751 as well as 38,051 citizenship applications from September 2018 to October, 2020, leading to improvement in income generation for government by the ministry.”

In her remarks, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, urged all MDAs of the federal government to be proactive in handling PPP projects and to also ensure focus on projects that would generate high returns on investments, with a view to ploughing back the profits generated to the economy.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties Office, in her office, Mrs Ibiene P. Roberts, the Head of Serviced implore MDAs to review the projects that have been lingering for too long and identify challenge areas that the forum can be of assistance.

Also speaking at the event, the Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr. Chidi Izuwah, noted that ICRC has continued to deliver its mandate, despite the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions across the country.

The Director General, who was represented by Mr. Mike Ohiani, commended the Ministry of Interior for hosting the 4th Quarter 2020 Session of the Forum.