Stop Directing Married Women To Abuja for Change of Name – Minister Tells NIS
Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has faulted officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service for asking people, especially married women to come to the headquarters in Abuja to effect a change of name on their passport.
Speaking at a recent dinner with members of the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu ABAT Media Centre and some social media influencers in Abuja, Tunji-Ojo described the act as “inhumane.”
He said women are not subjected to such inhuman practices on account of marriage anywhere in the world.
“There is one stupid thing I have seen and it is that a woman gets married, changes her name, and then she has to come to Abuja all the way from say Kaura Namoda or Enugu just to come and effect a change of name in her passport. It is absurd.
“I can’t just figure it that you want to change just your name and you have to be in Abuja. I have asked the immigration people, is it that immigration people in Abuja have more than one head than those in the states?” he asked.
He declared that the passport issue remains the least of his worries, adding that as of March, the new passport reforms he is putting in place would ensure contactless biometrics enrolment to allow Nigerians to do their enrolments from their comfort zones.
He, however, noted that he wants more secure borders for the country.
“With the new reforms, you don’t need to travel to Abuja to change your data. Everything will be online.
“From March, once you have ever enrolled for your passport and you are coming to renew, please don’t come to my office, stay in your house and do it. We have contactless biometrics and this can be done in five minutes. We don’t need to keep taking your biometrics every five years. Who does that in the world?
“This is what #RenewedHope is about. It is about positively disrupting the process. By the grace of God, the issue of passports is the least of our worries,” the minister stated.
Meanwhile, he urged Nigerians to keep faith with the Tinubu administration, noting that the president has led the country aright.
He added that as a minister, he would continue to give his all to Nigeria and Nigerians.
“Any day I think I don’t have the zeal again, I will do what honest men do and go because Nigeria as a country does not deserve 99.9 per cent. It deserves 100 percent from us. That is what public service demands.”
Minister directed the heads of various agencies to expedite the process for Nigerian passports, noting that the days of lengthy queues for passport acquisition should come to an end.
He also stressed the importance of harnessing technological advancements to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of processes within the immigration and correctional services.