The Federal Government has said that once the backlog of passport applications have been cleared, the Nigeria Immigration Service will commence the production of 24,000 passports daily.

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, disclosed this in Abuja on Friday when a delegation from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes visited his office.

A statement by the ministry’s director of Press, Ajibola Afonja, quoted the minister as saying that about 97,000 out of the 200,000 backlogs of passports had been cleared.

The statement partly read, “The minister averred that the President is interested in the country’s development, therefore, there would be no room for duplication of responsibility by the agency and the ministry.

“He further cited an example of the ongoing reforms in the NIS for passport issuance; he confirmed that “as of this morning (Friday), about 97,000 passport applications have been cleared, and he assured Nigerians that 24,000 passports would be produced in a day when the backlogs are cleared.”

The minister sought the support of the UNODC on the provision of skills for inmates in the correctional centres, adding, “Tunji-Ojo said correctional facilities should be a centre of reformation of inmates as indicated by the nomenclature of the facilities. He said the custodial facilities should not be seen as condemnation centres.

“The minister made a passionate appeal and implored the UN agency to always engage the ministry for its intervention programmes to avoid duplication, which breeds corruption. He assured the UNODC that their interventions would not be politicised.

The UNODC team leader, Mr Oliver Stolpe, said they were in the ministry to see the areas of collaboration as well as enumerate areas where the body has intervened.

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