By Palma Ileye
Minister of Interior Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo and Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Betta Edu have agreed to partner in order to reduce poverty in Nigeria. To achieve this objective, a joint Inter- ministerial Committee has been set up.
This is contained in a press release issued by Afonja Ajibola Fatai, DD, Press and Public Relations of Interior Ministry.
Tunji-Ojo while explaining that the two Ministries have semblance on their mandate, believed that it was in such collaboration via formation of the joint committee by the Ministries that the laudable objective anchored in Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu can be better achieved.
The revelation for the partnership was made while the Minister of Interior played host to his counterpart of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Betta Edu, during a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja.
He appreciated the Humanitarian Affairs Minister for broadening the mandate of the Ministry to cover vulnerable ex- service men of Services under the supervision of the Ministry and inmates of Correctional facilities.
While commenting on the excitement of Nigerians in diaspora as shared by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, he reiterated that Nigerians must not be relegated from being citizens of Nigeria by denying them a passport.
He restated his belief that we must get it right now, adding that he receives updates every morning; that this very morning, he is been briefed that about 55. thousand passports has been cleared, out of the two hundred thousand passports backlog he instructed to be cleared in two weeks.
He then assured that by the time the backlogs were cleared, Nigerians will start enjoying efficient service of having their passports issued within two weeks upon application.
Earlier, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Beta Edu, had appluaded the Minister of Interior for taking his work head-on.
She said that her Ministry’s Mandate has been expanded to cover more Nigerians, stating that about 16 Million Nigerians were susceptible to insecurity leading to their displacement, thereby causing humanitarian crises.
She also said her Ministry was ready to intervain in the provision of soft loan to the Widows of deceased NSCDC, Correctional Officers, Men and Officers of Nigeria Immigration Service and Fire Service officers which according to her, inmates of Correctinal facilities will start enjoying similar intervention through skills acquisition programme.
She however since the Federal Fire Service was an agency under the Supervision of the Ministry that also respond to disaster, her attention will also be given in that direction; while NSCDC role in security intelligence will also be activated as part of the joint partnership.
Dignitaries in attendance are the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade, Directors in the Ministry, CGs of Agencies, DG NAPTIP, Directors of Humanitarian Affairs Ministry and the Minister’s aids.