President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has given marching orders to the Ministry of Interior to secure Nigeria’s borders.
This was disclosed by the minister of interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, while speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday evening, November 28, 2023.
The president reportedly asked the ministry to devise solutions to Nigeria’s lingering insecurity crises.
The minister said: “A secured border is a safe nation. We have understood that now, and there is no going back on that. The president is hell-bent on that; he has given us marching order as ministry of interior to secure these borders. ‘I want these borders secured’. “And, technology, of course, has to be involved, because this is not 2003; this is 2023.
“So, the role of technology as solution or to enhance delivery, cannot be undermined in whatever we say.
“We look at the human intelligence aspect which is very key because you can only protect people as much as they want to be protected. That is just the truth. We saw what happened in Afghanistan, we saw what happened in Iraq, what happened in Libya. If people do not support you, give you the human intelligence that you need, it might be a bit difficult for you to be able to solve problem of insecurity.
“Technology is also needed. But I would not want to tell you the technology that we are understudying.”
Also, the minister said the automation of Nigeria’s passport application is 99 percent completed.
He said the automated application will become operational in a week’s time noting that after completion, Nigerians will only go to immigration centres to do fingerprint biometrics for their passports.
He further revealed that with the new system, Nigerians can upload their passport photographs and other supporting documents from the comfort of their homes.
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The minister said, “We gave a date — December 2023. We are 99 per cent done. In fact, we have done the testing and we should be going live in the next week or thereabouts.
“This will ensure that what Nigerians need to do at an immigration centre is just fingerprint biometrics.
“Everything regarding pre-biometrics will be done in the comfort of your homes, including uploading passport photographs and supporting documents.
“They will have gone live about two weeks ago but I saw some errors when they came to do the presentation and I said no. We were talking about balancing national security and convenience.”
In the interview, the minister also disclosed that e-gate systems would be installed at international airports in the country by February 2024.
“By February, all our international airports will have e-gates
“Once you are a Nigerian coming to Nigeria, you have no business seeing an immigration officer except if you are a person of interest,” he disclosed.