The federal government, on September 13, has made the decision to transfer the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) from the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy to the Ministry of Interior. This move aims to tackle the ongoing challenges related to National Identity Numbers (NIN), which are a crucial requirement for obtaining international passports and other travel documents.
Under the previous administration, NIMC and NCC collaborated to link NIN with SIM cards to combat kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism. Over 100 million Nigerians linked their NIN with SIMs in three years. The current administration, under President Bola Tinubu, is expediting the transfer of NIMC to the Ministry of Interior to streamline NIN and passport issuance.
A source noted that NIMC traditionally belongs in the Ministry of Interior and blamed bureaucratic contract awards for delays in addressing NIN-related issues. NIMC’s Head of Corporate Communications, Kayode Adegoke, confirmed the relocation to the Ministry of Interior.
When asked about the delays in issuing NINs, particularly for those with birth date changes and name sequence arrangements, Adegoke mentioned that these issues are currently being addressed. NIMC is set to launch a mobile application over the weekend as part of their innovative solutions to address these issues.
The app will allow Nigerians to make online requests for changes to their birthdates and other personal information, with real-time responses. Regarding fraudulent activities exploiting these problems, Adegoke dismissed the idea, stating that those involved are not associated with NIMC.
The Nigeria Immigration Service is increasing personnel deployment to its frontline desks nationwide to meet the two-week deadline set by the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo. The minister had given the Service a one-week ultimatum to clear a backlog of over 200,000 passport applications, and within five days, over 55,000 have been processed.
The NIS staff have been working tirelessly, even on weekends, to achieve this clearance since the minister’s directive. The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) is deploying additional personnel to clear a backlog of over 200,000 passport applications within a two-week deadline set by the Minister of Interior.
Over 55,000 applications have already been processed in five days. The NIS staff, including Acting Comptroller General Mrs. Wura-Ola Adepoju, are working diligently, even on weekends, to meet the deadline. All facilities and equipment are in optimal condition, ensuring efficient operations.