In recent times, Nigeria’s Ministry of Interior has witnessed a remarkable transformation under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo. The Nigerian Minister of Interior has initiated a series of groundbreaking changes that are set to redefine the ministry’s functions and elevate its effectiveness.
This opinion piece looks at the overarching role that the minister has played in bringing the Ministry of Interior back on track and focused doggedly on its mandate.
One of Dr. Tunji-Ojo’s notable accomplishments has been the swift resolution of the longstanding passport backlog issue. For many Nigerians, obtaining or renewing a passport was a tedious and time-consuming process, with some individuals waiting for as long as two years to secure this essential document. However, this scenario has now changed. Like he put it, the passport is an integral, fundamental document and it shouldn’t be treated as a luxury.
In just one month since taking office, Dr. Tunji-Ojo has successfully cleared the backlog of passport applications, ensuring that citizens have access to their passports in a timely manner. This significant achievement has not only streamlined the application process but also improved the overall efficiency of the Ministry of Interior.
Dr. Tunji-Ojo’s commitment to improving passport services does not end at home. He is also extending this remarkable gesture to Nigerians living in the diaspora. This initiative is a testament to his dedication to the well-being of Nigerians both within and outside the country. The Minister’s actions demonstrate his understanding of the importance of accessible and efficient passport services for the Nigerian diaspora, ensuring their connection with their homeland remains unencumbered.
Prison Reforms for Decongestion
Another critical issue that Dr. Tunji-Ojo has tackled head-on is the problem of prison congestion. The Ministry of Interior, under his leadership, is determined to alleviate this issue by implementing necessary reforms. One of the most significant actions taken in this regard is the setting up a committee to facilitate the payment of fines for over 4,000 inmates, amounting to over five hundred million naira.
These inmates, who have been unable to pay their fines, will finally find their way back to society, thanks to the Ministry of Interior’s efforts. Dr. Tunji-Ojo’s commitment to addressing this issue is not only a humanitarian act but also a significant step towards achieving a more just and balanced correctional system.
Ensuring Border Security
National security is a top priority, and Dr. Tunji-Ojo is leaving no stone unturned to safeguard Nigeria’s borders. He has established an inter-agency committee dedicated to properly mapping and securing Nigeria’s borders. The primary goal is to enhance the security of the nation and protect its borders from threats and illegal activities.
Dr. Tunji-Ojo emphasizes the urgency of this matter, noting, “Immediately I assumed office, the first thing I did was to set up a small committee to be able to review the situation of our correctional centres, vis-à-vis the inmates as they are, and we discovered that over 4,000 of these inmates, as I’ve said before, are still in custody due to inability to pay fines. We looked at how much they owe, total fine is about total of five hundred and something million, and I can tell you we’ve gone very far dealing with the private sector regarding CSR and in putting this money together.”
This proactive approach to border security underscores Dr. Tunji-Ojo’s dedication to ensuring the safety and sovereignty of Nigeria.
Synergy with Other Ministries and Parastatals
In addition to addressing pressing issues, Dr. Tunji-Ojo is keen on enhancing cooperation and synergy among various ministries and parastatals. This collaborative approach is vital in the ongoing efforts to reposition Nigeria for the President’s Renewed Hope Agenda. Dr. Tunji-Ojo’s emphasis on coordination and teamwork reflects his visionary leadership style and a commitment to fostering progress on a national level.
Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo’s accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. His relentless pursuit of excellence within the Ministry of Interior has earned him recognition, including the honorary IT productivity award at the Digital Nigeria 2023 Dinner and gala night. This acknowledgment reflects his tireless efforts to push the boundaries of what is possible and achievable within his ministry.