Minister of Interior, Honourable Bunmi Tunji-Ojo, has bemoaned the overcrowding of correctional centres with over 80,000 inmates in the country.
He said that more than eighty percent of the inmates are awaiting trial.
Speaking in a live Television Continental interview, ‘Journalists Hangout,’ the minister said that his ministry is seriously working to broaden the scope of non custodial centres in the country as done in other countries world wide.
He said that to achieve this, his ministry will enlist the partnership of the Ministry of Justice and other agencies and also work on the Amendment of the Correctional Services Act to broaden the scope of Custodial and non custodial correctional system in the country.
He is not comfortable with the long process in the issuance and reissuance of passports in the country, adding that rather than opening more offices, his ministry will deploy more efficient technology to increase the efficiency in the processing of passports in all it’s offices.
He said that the ministry will engage it’s service providers to improve on their service delivery process for more efficiency.
He said that efforts are on to start the production of passport booklet to reduce the foreign exchange being spent on printing outside the country.
The minister said that the problem in the issuance of passport to Nigerians in the Diaspora is a function of the prevailing system in the country and that efforts are being made to reorientate immigration officers on the need to project the image of Nigeria well, as they are the gateway and first point of contact to outsiders, especially to encourage foreign direct investors.
“Things cannot continue the way they are and we are making efforts to show officers not ready to comply with the change in work attitude the way out while hardworking ones will be rewarded.”
On the synchronisation of the data base of all the government agencies, he said that with the inclusion of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), among the agencies in the interior ministry efforts are being made to harmonize the data base of all relevant institutions to reduce hardship.
”We are making efforts to harmonize the data base among all institutions like banks in the country.”
He also promised to better equip the Nigeria Civil Defence Service (NSDC) to ensure efficiency in the protection of oil pipelines towards reducing theft in the system and boost the nations foreign exchange.
Tunji -Ojo commended the efforts of the Federal Fire Service in the country and promised that more fire fighting vehicles and equipment will be procured for more efficient and effective service delivery.