Aregbesola’s 20 months in Ministry of Interior
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was sworn in as the Minister of Interior in August 2019. During this 20-month, he has manned the leadership position, far reaching reforms have taken place in the ministry and its paramilitary agencies. Since his assumption in office, the Ministry of Interior has witnessed progress, transformation and a solid foundation. Under Aregbesola, Nigeria Correctional Service has completed over 713 projects which were started since 2016.
Within the 20 months of Aregbesola as minister of Interior, Nigeria Immigration Service upgraded from manual to electronic processing of Temporary Work Permit in line with the digitisation process of the entire workflow process going on in the NIS. This upgrade would have positive effect on the Ease of doing Business in Nigeria and has the potential to create direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians.
Just recently, Aregbesola commissioned the Female Armed Squad Unit of the NSCDC. The objective is to provide female guards to protect schools in line with the Safe School Initiative policy directive of the minister which is aimed at keeping children safe in schools. This will support the efforts of other security agencies in addressing the recurring cases of kidnap of school children which has been going on for years.
Nigerians who have either lost their passport or got it expired before renewal and need to travel home now have the benefit of obtaining the one-way Temporary Passport. The NIS introduced the one-way Temporary Passport to replace the Emergency Travel Certificate. This will undoubtedly make travelling back home easier for many Nigerians who may have lost their international passport during a journey.
Aregbesola met congested and over-crowded Custodial Facilities upon assumption of office. He knew this was contributed to by the Criminal Justice System in Nigeria. The situation worsened with the outbreak of COVID-19 and the consequent lockdown of societies. With the support of the Nigerian Correctional Service and of course, Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Interior introduced the virtual counsels/courts sessions in the Nigeria Custodial Centres to ensure unhindered adjudication of justice while still adhering to the COVID-19 pandemic protocols.
The Federal Fire Service is a major success story during Aregbesola’s 20 months and one to be proud of. Between August 2019 and December 2020, the Federal Fire Service responded to over 1500 fire calls, saved hundreds of lives that could have been lost and assets worth trillions of naira were saved. This was achieved with the procurement and deployment of newly fire engines across the country to boost emergency response. The Federal Fire Service is now present in all the states of the federation and has become the most responsive, saving lives and preventing humanitarian and economic disasters.
Inwalomhe Donald wrote from Abuja.
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