Tunji-Ojo: Nigerians Should Not Queue Endlessly to Get Passports

•Says country at critical point, in dire need of transformation

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

The Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has said Nigerians do not have to queue endlessly to get international passports.

He also charged agency heads on the need to walk their talk, saying the country was at a critical point and in dire need of transformation.

Speaking at a briefing with the Acting Comptroller General of Immigration, Caroline Adepoju, and Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Haliru Nababa, the minister reiterated the order of the President on getting all hands on the deck.

He said: “I am just returning from a meeting with the president. He is not interested in excuses. We must work and deliver. Anyone who cannot help Nigeria to record progress must be kicked out because we can actually be great.

“Let me know your challenges. I am here to help you solve them. When you solve them and record successes, I am also successful. The time of talks is gone. So, keep your talk. Let us discuss solutions.

“Nigerians should not have to queue endlessly to get passports. No, this must stop. This is not the Nigeria of our dream. I need to know the challenges the agency is facing.

“We must all come together to deploy and invest our expertise to resolve them. Nigerians will take us up on our promises. If we have officers who are not ready for this rigorous process, we will excuse them.”

He reminded the agency heads that the new administration was not interested in usual talks and essay presentations, but actions to deliver value and growth.

He said: “Talks have not taken us anywhere as a nation. We must get it right. The Ministry of Interior is the heart of any nation. I want you to return to your tables and bring up action plans. It is my job to ensure the ministry is working.”

The minister also underscored the importance of leveraging technology as a means to enhance efficiency and accuracy within the immigration and correctional services.

The minister noted that implementation of advanced technological solutions could significantly reduce delays and streamline the handling of critical challenges.

He said: “Technology has the potential to revolutionise our immigration and correctional systems, making them more agile and responsive. All I care, we need to embrace innovation and find ways to overcome the current challenges that often lead to bottlenecks in our processes.

“Our country is a great and important country. Let’s live up to expectations.”

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