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NIMC Returns to Ministry of Interior to Address National Identity Challenges

In a strategic move aimed at addressing the persistent challenges associated with the National Identity Numbers (NIN), the Federal Government has relocated the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) back to its original home within the Ministry of Interior. This decision was announced after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu ordered the transfer from the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy.

The decision to return NIMC to the Ministry of Interior underscores its crucial role in streamlining the application and acquisition process for International Passports and other travel documents, where NIN plays a pivotal role.

Kayode Adegoke, the Head of Corporate Communications of NIMC, confirmed this development and emphasized that the Commission has indeed been relocated to the Ministry of Interior. Adegoke also addressed concerns about delays in issuing NIN, especially for those with changes in their birth dates or name sequences, assuring that these issues are actively being addressed.

To tackle these challenges comprehensively, NIMC is set to launch a mobile application in the coming weekend as part of its innovative solutions.

Responding to questions about fraudulent activities related to NIN issues, Adegoke dismissed any involvement by NIMC personnel, asserting that such individuals are not associated with the Commission.

Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has been committed to removing bottlenecks and obstacles in the process of acquiring Nigerian travel documents. In a recent development, the Minister summoned the Acting Comptroller General, Adepoju Carol, and Managing Director of Iris Smart Technologies, Yinka Fisher, to his office to address the backlog of over 200,000 international passport applications.

Minister Tunji-Ojo expressed his urgency in resolving passport-related issues, stating, “As far as I am concerned, the issue of passport is a national emergency. I keep getting emails daily from Nigerians complaining. We cannot continue like that. It has become an embarrassment to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”

Furthermore, the government has taken note of the challenges faced by Nigerians in the process of correcting their date of birth or name on their National Identity Cards, which has led to delays in passport issuance. The administration is determined to streamline this process.

It is worth recalling that during the previous administration, NIMC collaborated with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to link NIN with Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) to combat issues such as kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism. Over 100 million Nigerians successfully linked their NIN with their SIM within three years.

The move to expedite NIMC’s relocation to the Ministry of Interior aligns with President Bola Tinubu’s directive to eliminate impediments and bottlenecks in obtaining NIN and passports.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has committed to deploying additional personnel to its frontline desks across the nation to meet the two-week deadline set by Minister Tunji-Ojo for clearing the backlog of over 200,000 passport applications. As of now, over 55,000 applications have already been processed within five days of the ultimatum.

The NIS assures the public that all efforts are being made to meet the deadline, with personnel working even on weekends to ensure efficient passport processing. The Acting Comptroller General, Mrs. Wura-Ola Adepoju, has taken proactive measures to address this backlog, and all facilities and equipment are operating optimally.

The Federal Government’s commitment to resolving identity and travel document issues underscores its dedication to improving the lives of Nigerian citizens and streamlining essential services.

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