The Federal Government has relocated the supervision of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to the Ministry of Interior in order to address the growing challenges related to National Identification Number (NIN) and passport clearance.
The move was made to streamline the process of obtaining NIN, a crucial requirement for the smooth application and issuance of International Passports and various other travel-related documents.
Before now, the NIMC operated under the purview of the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy.
Under the previous administration, NIMC and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) collaborated to integrate NIN with Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM) as a countermeasure against challenges such as kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism.
In the last three years, over 100 million Nigerians reportedly linked their NIN with SIM cards.
The move to transfer NIMC to the Ministry of Interior is said to be in line with President Bola Tinubu’s mandate to eliminate obstacles or delays associated with obtaining NIN and Passports.
“Yes, we have been moved. We are coming up with several innovations to address the problems.
“Nigerians will have opportunities to make online requests for changes of dates of birth, or any updates regarding their personal information.They will apply online and get responses in real-time”, The Nation quoted a source at the NIMC to have said.
The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, had initially called for the clearance of more than 200,000 Passport application backlogs.
Within five days of setting the deadline, the minister on Tuesday revealed that over 55,000 of the 200,000 passports backlog had been cleared.
He added that more would be cleared before the end of the two-week deadline given to the immigration boss.
He also said that once the backlogs are cleared, Nigerians should expect to receive their passports within a two-week timeframe.
According to him, the action is crucial in mitigating the delays in issuing fresh passports, which have historically fostered corruption within the system.