The Ministers of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, and Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, have joined forces to combat poverty in Nigeria, establishing a joint inter-ministerial committee to achieve this goal.
During a courtesy visit to Dr. Tunji-Ojo’s office, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, discussed the shared mandates of their respective ministries and the need for collaboration. She emphasized that such cooperation through the formation of the joint committee aligns with the objectives of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
Dr. Tunji-Ojo expressed his appreciation for the expansion of the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry’s mandate to include vulnerable ex-service men and inmates of correctional facilities under the Ministry’s supervision. He acknowledged the excitement of Nigerians in the diaspora and emphasized the importance of not denying them passports, reaffirming his commitment to improving passport issuance efficiency.
The Minister disclosed that approximately 55,000 passport backlogs out of 200,000 have been cleared, with plans to clear the remaining backlog in two weeks, ensuring Nigerians can obtain passports within two weeks of application.
Dr. Betta Edu applauded Dr. Tunji-Ojo for his dedication to his work and stated that her ministry has expanded its mandate to cover more Nigerians, especially the 16 million susceptible to insecurity and displacement, leading to humanitarian crises. She pledged her ministry’s readiness to provide soft loans to widows of deceased NSCDC, correctional officers, immigration service personnel, and fire service officers, as well as initiating skills acquisition programs for inmates of correctional facilities.
She also expressed her intention to collaborate with the Federal Fire Service, an agency under the Interior Ministry’s supervision, in responding to disasters. Additionally, she highlighted the activation of NSCDC’s role in security intelligence as part of the joint partnership.
The meeting was attended by dignitaries including the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade, directors in the ministry, CGs of agencies, DG NAPTIP, directors of the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry, and the ministers’ aides.