Politics

Automated passport system saved Nigeria N600m -Interior minister

Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has introduced a collection of reforms aimed toward modernising the nation’s immigration companies, noting that the ministry has saved the federal government thousands and thousands of naira via an automatic software system.

Speaking as a visitor on Episode 2 of ‘Unfiltered: The Big Interview,’ a YouTube interview collection hosted by O’tega ‘The Tiger’ Ogra, and launched on Saturday, the minister detailed plans to automate passport functions, introduce house supply for passports, and implement superior passenger data techniques at airports.

He stated, “When we got here on board in August final yr, it was about stock-taking as a result of I at all times say this, as knowledgeable, you spend extra time planning in order that execution could be fairly straightforward and we’ve been ready to try this throughout all our businesses and right now, the short-term targets that we had for ourselves we’ve been in a position to obtain that.

“For instance, in Immigration, the short-term targets embrace clearing our backlog of over 204,000 passports that we inherited, we cleared that in barely over two weeks, lower than three weeks we’re ready to try this and below President Bola Tinubu, we made certain that passport backlog has change into one thing of the previous that may by no means occur once more.

“We went via our automation course of which is principally damaged into three completely different levels however by way of our short-term goal, it’s reaching the primary two then the midterm goal is, after all, the third one which is the place we are actually.

“We’ve achieved the primary one, which is, after all, automating the applying course of that has began saving authorities billions of naira as a result of I’ll provide you with an instance. We used to pay for archiving of paperwork, however right now, now we have automated that course of that candidates now add by themselves.

“When you calculate that, for archiving alone which is about N200 that we used to pay per applicant and by about three million passports a year, that’s about N600 million. So, we have saved government of that money and yet it’s even more convenient for people because people can now do that on their own and we moved now to the stage of even uploading passport and all these other things.”

He added that the ministry is “about to go live in the next couple of days” with a house supply system for passports.

The minister additionally highlighted the implementation of the Advanced Passenger Information and Passenger Name Record (API/PNR) system, which permits immigration officers to pre-profile travellers earlier than they arrive in Nigeria. “When you come into Nigeria, our scrutiny is now objective,” he defined.

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“What it means principally is that in case you’re a terrorist or you have got a questionable background, you may’t come into Nigeria. So we’ve been ready to try this, and as I communicate with you, the command and management centre for the air border management administration system is 100% prepared. If you get to NIS headquarters, you will note it.

“Just two weeks ago IATA came all the way from their headquarters in Canada and they took a facility tour you know of the of this facility and the IATA representative said it clearly that this is one of the best command and control centre any anywhere in the world. That makes me happy as a Nigerian,” he added.

Tunji-Ojo additionally revealed plans to streamline the visa software course of, promising that within the subsequent couple of weeks as soon as an individual is in want of an e-visa to Nigeria, in a most of 48 hours, they’d get their visa.

He stated, “We have simply accomplished our visa counter, and we centralise the method of procuring visas to make sure extra safety to boost our nationwide safety. Nobody will get a visa to Nigeria now, you realize, with out going via Interpol 24/7 and different worldwide prison database techniques, so we need to profile you.

“We are taking away the facility of subjectivity away from officers simply on the desk in numerous embassies and we’re taking giving them what we name an goal platform you realize to have the ability to do what they’re alleged to do and naturally, with what now we have accomplished now within the subsequent couple of weeks now we have completed the entire course of improvement.

“Once you want an e-visa to Nigeria most in 48 hours, you get your visa to Nigeria. We are automating the method as an alternative of days, as an alternative of weeks and months, as an alternative of you having to foyer to come back into Nigeria.

“We’re opening the space you know to legitimate and legal law-abiding people to come to Nigeria, explore the beauty of Nigeria, see our tourism, see the good feeling and see how wonderful a host we as people are.”

These reforms, in line with the minister, are a part of the federal government’s efforts to boost nationwide safety whereas enhancing the convenience of doing enterprise in Nigeria.

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