The National Civil Society Council of Nigeria [NCSCN] has commended the Minister of Interior and the team of the Nigerian Immigration Services [NIS] over the successful unveiling of the Automated Passport Registration System.
The council’s commendation was conveyed in a statement jointly signed by Amb. Blessing Akinlosotu and Dr Raymond Edoh, NCSCN’s Executive Director and Executive Secretary respectively on Tuesday in Abuja.
The duo urged the minister to remain focused on mandate delivery.
They said that the automated E-Passport Processing System initiated by the Minister of Interior, Olubumi Tunji-Ojo, was intended to enhance security by timely identification of fraudulent passport applications, through smart document verification by officers stationed nationwide.
“The system will ensure thorough scrutiny of passport applications across all Local Government Areas, contributing to strengthening our national security.’’
The executives said that the enhanced passport application process represented a significant advancement in the country’s security and migration frameworks and promises quicker detection of fraudulent passports.
They said that the minister’s overwhelming landmark accomplishments had re-awakened the hope of Nigerians in and outside the country.
“This is aimed at reducing crime and illegal migrations while reinforcing the overall efficiency and reliability of the passport issuance system.
“His swift clearance of 204,000 backlogs of passport applications within two weeks is highly commendable, coupled with the removal of stringent bottlenecks in the acquisition of passports and other immigration documents.
“Furthermore, Tunji-Ojo’s few days in office has witnessed an unprecedented promotion of about 32,361 personnel across the Nigeria Correctional Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Fire Service, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
“This move underscores the commitment of the Renewed Hope Government of President Bola Tinubu in prioritising the welfare of officers, a feat unprecedented in the history of paramilitary service.
“Tunji-Ojo introduced user-friendly e-platforms for visa applications, allowing passport photo uploads via the immigration portal, under an Innovation called E-Platforms for Visa Processing.’’
According to them, the initiative promises increased accessibility and convenience for Nigerians seeking visas.
“Meanwhile, the unveiling of enhanced e-passport facilities in key Nigerian embassies across Europe stands as a testament to his commitment to improving service capabilities for Nigerian citizens abroad, particularly in Spain, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy.
“He also went steps ahead to advocate for equitable compensation and initiated plans for a functional Pension Board, thus, boosting morale and productivity within the ranks.
“His efforts signify a pivotal step towards aligning paramilitary salaries with those of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), ensuring fairness and equity.
“Again, the proposal of Pension Boards for various security apparatus highlights his dedication to ensuring better welfare and equity within the sector.’’
They said that the collaborative efforts led to the release of 4,000 inmates from correctional centres, showcasing his commitment to rehabilitation and social justice through strategic partnerships and financial assistance.
“His few days in office have been marked by a series of groundbreaking achievements that have reshaped the landscape of service delivery, reformed policies, and placed the welfare of Nigerians at the forefront.
“In recognition of his sterling performances, he was awarded the Public Service Person of the Year 2023 by Leadership Newspaper.
“He was found worthy for finding his way into the hearts of millions of citizens for whom obtaining or renewing the Nigerian passport had become a nightmare.
“His bold, extensive and exceptional reform in tackling the perennial passport booklet debacle at NIS in less than five weeks into his assumption of office is laudable.
“In tandem with these accomplishments, Tunji-Ojo’s engagement with agencies, stakeholders, and international partners underscores his commitment to tackling illegal migration and organized crime, ensuring a safer and more secure nation,’’ they said
The executives, while throwing its weight behind the minister, urged him to remain focused on his national assignment as Nigerians believed in him and his leadership prowess which had yielded tangible results