Minister orders proper documentation of expatriates, warns against jail breaks
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has been given a marching order for repository of accurate data on expatriates and dismantling of observed bottlenecks to ensure seamless issuance of international passports.
Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, gave the directive during his maiden familiarisation visit to the NIS headquarters in Abuja.
He deplored the lack of correct data on foreigners,directing the organisation to review extant agreements for efficiency and better service delivery to Nigerians.
Tunji-Ojo promised to look into several agreements the NIS struck with service providers, stating that the pacts were frustrating the agency from actualising its mandates.
He regretted that Nigerians spend months to get their passport booklets.
“My daughter waited for six months to get her passport booklet. As a House Committee on NDDC chairman, I faced this too. Imagine what an average Nigerian would face. It’s like we are waiting for a passport to heaven,” the minister said.
He also demanded that Nigerians living abroad deserve to be respected and treated fairly by immigration officials.
Tunji-Ojo urged the London immigration office to improve its services and accord Nigerians maximum respect while seeking for travel documents, adding: “Our citizens wherever they are must be proud to be Nigerians.”
MEANWHILE, the minister has warned against any act by personnel capable of sabotaging efforts at securing custodial facilities in the country.
He gave the warning while on an inspection tour of the national headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) and the Kuje Medium Custodial Centre in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He observed that though jail breaks have not been recorded in recent times, there has been a series of attacks on custodial centres by external elements coupled with the prevailing overcrowding in the facilities.
The minister said: “We are ready to show the door to whoever wants to sabotage us.
“We can only build on the foundation of your efforts, we are ready to collaborate with you to make sure that our correctional centres do become correctional centres indeed, and we are ready to activate non-custodial responsibility, according to the law.
“We will continue to partner with the Ministry of Justice to look at the issue of decongesting our custodial centres, and we have to be creative about it.”
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