By Ukpono Ukpong
The Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, revealed plans to partner with the United Nation Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), on provision of skills acquisition to Nigerian Correctional facility inmates.
Tunji-Oji made the call yesterday when officials of UNODC paid a courtesy visit to his Office in Abuja.
The Minister said that Correctional facilities should be a Center of Reformation of inmates, as indicated by the nomenclature of the facilities.
He said the custodian facilities should not be seen as condemnation centres.
Speaking further, he made the passionate appeal and implored the United Nations Agency to always collaborate with the Ministry, by engaging it for any interventions in order to avoid duplications, which often breeds corruption.
He further allayed the fear of UNODC functionaries in Nigeria of their intervention not being politicised.
The Minister further assured UNODC team that as long as he remains the Minister of Interior, their intervention would surely be implemented with the objectives of the projects.
The Minister averred that the President is interested in the country’s development, therefore, there would be no room for duplication of responsibility between the agency and the ministry.
He further cited example of the ongoing reforms in the NIS for passports issuance, he confirmed that “as of this morning (Friday) about 97,000 passports has been cleared and he assured Nigerians that 24,000 passports would be produced in a day, when the backlogs are cleared”.
The Minister also solicited the support of the organisation on advocacy, reorientation of Nigerians on their mind set about inmates after serving their jail term.
He pleaded for expansion of the collaboration to cover the six geopolitical zones in the country. Hon Tunji-Ojo promised to inaugurate an inter- sectoral collaboration with ministries of Justice, Legal Aide’s Council, Judiciary and state governments for true federalism in the approach and also for Nigerians to achieve the real Renewed Hope Agenda of President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR.
The Minister thanked the UNODC for their interventions to Nigeria across many sectors, he pointed out that only UNODC goes into the interior of the country and intervenes where it is critically needed to improve the living condition of Nigerians
Earlier during the visit, the UNODC team leader Mr. Oliver Stolpe, congratulated the Minister for his well deserved appointment.
He said they are in the ministry to see the area of collaboration and equally he enumerated areas the body has intervened.