Trail blazing strides of Tunji-Ojo as Interior Minister 

President Bola Tinubu recently commended the transformative effort of the Minister of Interior, Hon  Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, in the areas of passport issuance. The commendation was showered on the minister by the president during the last weekly Federal Executive Council meeting. The commendable remarks of Mr President were, nonetheless, necessary to underscore the giant strides of the highly performing minister and to also spur him to surpass himself. 

In a little above seven months of being inaugurated as the nation’s minister of Interior, Tunji-Ojo has done enough to stand as a beacon of hope in the Tinubu administration. He has also redefined service delivery, in addition to rekindled optimism in the hearts of many hitherto disillusioned Nigerians. The accomplished business and management executive has simply done enough as a minister in few months to convince that Nigerian nation that can work is truly possible.

To the admiration of all upon his assumption of office as Interior minister, Tunji-Ojo had swiftly initiated a strategic overhaul of the Ministry of Interior and its affiliated agencies. He has therefore set a new standard for optimal service delivery in all agencies of the ministry. He has also in few months brought relief  to all citizens that desire to obtain Nigerian passport at home and abroad. He has commendably leveraged on innovative technology to resolve the seemingly unresolved crisis of the issuance of Nigerian passport and visa. 

The 41-year-old  graduate of Electronics and Communication Engineering from London Metropolitan University hit the ground running upon assuming office as the Interior Minister. He promptly ordered and ensured the swift clearance of staggering 204,332 passports backlog by the Nigeria Immigration Service in just three weeks. 

This feat was nonetheless a record breaking performance by the Nigeria Immigration Service in its 60 years of existence. Meanwhile, this issue of passports backlog had remained a national embarrassment to Nigeria, up until it was resolved through the Midas touch of Tunji-Ojo. The effort of Tunji-Ojo also demonstrated efficiency as well as restoration of faith in the responsiveness of Nigerian governmental agencies.

The ICT expert went a step higher to simplify the process of obtaining Nigerian passport with the unveiling of enhanced e-passport facilities in key Nigerian embassies across Europe and in the North America. This initiative equally underscores the commitment of Tunji-Ojo to a marked improvement in service delivery and capabilities for Nigerian citizens in the diaspora. This effort has also placed Nigeria in a good stead as a global leader in diplomatic efficiency.

In a manner that is unprecedented, the forward thinking Tunji-Ojo had introduced user-friendly e-platforms for visa processing in the nation’s embassies across the world. This innovative effort allows for passport photo uploads via the portal of Nigeria Immigration Service. The technological reform has likewise simplified bureaucratic processes and also fostered efficiently connected global community. More so, the reform equally promises  greater accessibility for Nigerians.

The master degree holder in Digital Communication and Networking has also proven his exceptional qualities with the installation of e-Gates across all the five international airports in Nigeria. This effort also underscores the commitment of Tunji-Ojo to reducing human contact at the nation’s airports and ensuring seamless entry for Nigerians and international travelers. The initiative, as lauded by President Tinubu, is envisioned to improve security at the nation’s airports and also elevates the standing of Nigeria on the global stage.

The highly cerebral Tunji-Ojo had equally achieved a first of its kind release of 4,000 inmates from correctional centers across the nation. The minister sized the initiative to raise over five hundred million naira through his strategic partnership with private sector players. The funds were efficiently deployed to secure the release of the inmates. This effort has indeed underscored the commitment of the minister to the transformation of Nigerian criminal justice system, ensuring social justice and rehabilitation of inmates. 

Another applaudable achievement of Tunji-Ojo as Nigerian Interior minister was his spirited advocacy for commensurate salaries for the personnel of Nigerian paramilitary agencies. He is likewise working towards the establishment of a pension board for various paramilitary agencies. The minister has not only shown his commitment to improved welfare for the personnel of Nigerian paramilitary agencies, he is equally committed to fostering a supportive working environment for personnel that are still in active service. 

There is no doubt that Tunji-Ojo has distinguished himself as a high flying performer who has repositioned the agencies in the Interior Ministry for better, improved and efficient service delivery. He has equally put measures in place to significantly alleviate the frustration of Nigerians as far as service delivery by the Nigeria Immigration Service is concerned. 

It is not surprising therefore, that Tunji-Ojo has been having bumper harvest of awards in appreciation of his exceptional performance as Interior minister. He has in the last few months been honored with Man of the Year 2023 by several national newspapers and organizations. The latest of these plethora of awards is the Leadership Newspaper Public Service Person of The Year 2023.  

In spite of the intimidating performance of Tunji-Ojo, he is not showing any sign of slowing down or resting on his oars. Rather, the seasoned business executive is steadily itching to break new grounds and attain next level achievements. The visionary leadership quality  of the minister has manifestly created a new picture of Nigeria where dedication, innovation and positive change have combined to a birth a new order. The transformative strides of the minister are already paving ways for  a strategically repositioned and efficient system. 

Tunji-Ojo has thus far deployed uncommon brilliance and innovation to  overseas the activities of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), Federal Fire Service (FFS), and the Civil Defence, Corrections, Immigration and Fire Service Board (CDCIFB).  The best of the young man is yet to come as he still has a lot of value to add to the Nigerian system.

Salako is media consultant to the interior minister