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Automated Passport Application 99% Done, ‘Going Live’ Next Week — Interior Minister Tunji-Ojo

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Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Minister of Interior, says the promised automation of the passport application process will begin “in the next one week”.

Tunji-Ojo first gave the assurance to Nigerians in an October 4 interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, saying citizens would be able to use the feature from December.

In a follow-up appearance on Tuesday’s edition of the programme, he stated that the technology was “99 percent done”.

“In fact, we’ve done the testing and we should be going live in the next one week or thereabout. As I said, that will ensure that Nigerians, all they need to do in an immigration centre, a passport centre, is just biometrics, just to take your fingerprints, that’s all,” he said.

Asked if Nigerian nationals would indeed be able to complete their application from the comfort of their homes, Tunji-Ojo replied, “Of course!”

According to him, this would include uploading passport photos and their supporting documents.

“We have gone beyond that. In fact, we’ve gone through it. We would have gone live about two weeks ago but I saw some errors when they came to do a presentation and I said, ‘You know this cannot be this,” he said.

“We’re talking about balancing national security as well as convenience. There must be a middle point. You cannot bring discomfort on the basis of enhancement of security. You must find a meeting point of both security and comfort.”

The minister also restated his promise that by February 2024, all Nigerian international airports would have e-gates.

“Once you’re Nigerian and you’re coming to Nigeria, you will have no business seeing an immigration officer, except if you’re a person of interest,” he said.

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Economic Hardship: Express Your Grievances In A Responsible And Mature Manner — VP Shettima To Nigerians

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Nigeria’s Vice President, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, says the federal government expects Nigerians to express their grievances over the current economic crisis in a responsible and mature way.

Speaking on Saturday at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Muslim Alumni’s 29th pre-Ramadan lecture, Shettima said that if the alternatives had been feasible, the government could have chosen a simpler course of action instead of its current course.

The event was themed “Economic Reforms for Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects for the Future”.

Shettima, who was presented by Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, his special adviser on political matters, said all the options before the President Bola Tinubu-led administration are difficult.

He said the government is left with no choice than to adopt certain policies which are “more telling on the poor”.

Several states, including Lagos, Imo, Kaduna and Oyo have, in the past weeks, staged protests to express their reservations over the hunger and high cost of living in the country.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) also staged a nationwide mass protest on February 27 over the economic hardship being faced by Nigerians.

“The consequences of our past are the stark realities we face today, such as rising cost of living and pessimism over our prospect to turn round our economy in the direction of growth and inclusive development,” Shettima said.

“Yet, my brothers and sisters, we do not have the choice of continuing in the direction that brought us where we are today. We have to fix this country, and failure to do this is not an option. All the options we have are difficult and challenging, and they are, without a doubt, more telling on the poor. If there are easier and reliable alternatives to the policy choices we have adopted, we wold have adopted them.

“Our administration does not plan to make lives of Nigerians more difficult. Nor do we intend to deceive fellow citizens that the change in direction and the expected outcome can be achieved without pain or sacrifices.

“Fellow alumni, I appeal to you to help make space for our administration to achieve the goal of turning our nation around. As products of a distinguished institution, we have learnt that progress is only possible if it is informed by criticism and critical scrutiny. We expect that Nigerians should express their feelings over our circumstances in a responsible and mature manner.”

The vice president further said that the federal government is aware that the forthcoming Ramadan “will come with severe challenges for most Nigerians”.

He added that as “deeply religious people”, Nigerians believe in the powers of prayer and faith that God will ease the hardship.

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Report Nigerian Officials Who Demand Bribes — Tinubu To Qatari Investors

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Nigeria’s President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has asked Qatari investors to bring their investments to Nigeria, encouraging them to report any public officials who demand bribes.

Speaking at the Nigeria-Qatar business and investment forum in Doha on Sunday, Tinubu told the investors that Africa’s largest economy and its systems are being reformed and upgraded.

According to a statement on Sunday, the president assured the international business community that Nigeria is ready for serious business, pledging to remove all bottlenecks hindering profitable and legitimate enterprise.

He encouraged Qatar’s captains of industries to report any government official who demands a bribe or any form of inducement at any point in their business endeavour, assuring them of direct access to his office.

“I am here to give you the assurance that reforms are going on; forget about whatever you heard in the past. Whatever is the obstacle or problem that some of you might have experienced; it is in the past, because there is no obstacle in the future,” he said.

“Do not offer a bribe to any of our people, and if it is requested or taken from you, report to us. You will have access to me.

“Nigeria will no longer be defined by the past, but by what we do now and moving forward. Do not let perceptions become a hindrance to your will to invest. Nigeria is serious about revolutionizing investment promotion.

“We are removing obstacles today and we are going to continue to remove all obstacles. We have done so much within nine months. And I am assuring you, it is free entry, and free exit. Your funds will flow smoothly into and out of our country. Bring your investments.”

He said Nigeria possesses vast opportunities in various fields, telling his host that the West African nation is rich in mineral resources.

“We have oil and gas; we have solid minerals. I do not see why we cannot become prolific partners in exploring iron ore, as well as steel production, and energy across the board,” he said.

“I am here to give you assurances in all spheres: tourism, hospitality, healthcare, and in many other opportunities that abound around us. Do not be the investors who miss out on the golden opportunity we present.”

Tinubu also said the war against corruption and insecurity in Nigeria has been significantly strengthened with the appointment of Nuhu Ribadu as the national security adviser (NSA).

“We have a man who has won many global awards for anti-corruption as an anti-corruption czar,” he said.

“My responsibility is to tell you that Nigeria is open for business, and to assure you that your investments are safe in our hands. We have men and women of great reputation here. And we believe we can forge a good committee that will advance our discussions to fruitful conclusions.

“A nation is an artificial entity unless there are good people to drive it. People build great nations and we have great people. We are ready.”

Welcoming the Nigerian delegation, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Qassim Al Abdullah Al Thani, Qatar’s minister of commerce and industry, said his country looks forward to exploring opportunities in Nigeria, owing to its population demography and market, as it seeks to prioritise new investments in low carbon initiatives, mineral products, petroleum chemicals, industry, and consumables.

Accompanying the president to the Nigeria-Qatar business forum were Babagana Umara Zulum, Borno governor; Uba Sani, Kaduna governor; Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos governor; Wale Edun, coordinating minister of the economy and minister of finance; Dele Alake, minister of solid minerals development; Muhammad Ali Pate, coordinating minister of health and social welfare; Adegboyega Oyetola, minister of marine and blue economy; Doris Uzoka-Anite, minister of trade, industry and investment; Jamila Bio Ibrahim, minister of youth; and Ekperipe Ekpo, minister of state for petroleum resources (Gas).

Others include Nuhu Ribadu, national security adviser; Olu Verheijen, special adviser on energy; and Dele Kelvin Oye, president of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

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Olori Omo Oba Hit 67 And Still Waxing Stronger By Seun Oloketuyi

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Alhaji Wasiu Omo Gbolahan Olasunkami Adewale Ayinde is a man of destiny, focused and passionate about what he wants.

Or, what do you call a man, who rose from the streets of Isale Eko chasing his dreams to be a musician highly insipired by Islamic beliefs before trying out as an actor and then going back fully to Fuji, a genre of music that has blessed him and vice-versa.

Over the years, the princely singer from the Fidipote family has remained focused with his eyes firm on the crystal balls.

Despite his royal status, the Ijebu people, humanity, building bridges and indeed the entertainment industry have been the better for it as he remains one of the biggest act from Africa as at today.

KWAM 1 or K1- de Ultimate as many love to call him, loves his root – the Yoruba people – and undoubtedly, he loves his Ijebu root more and that’s why he has moved back home for about a decade.

Since moving back to Ijebu, he has established businesses and continues helping the development of the land.

Little wonder, the Awujale of Ijebuland, the highly respected Monarch, sees KWAM 1’s efforts and contribution to the growth of the revered Ijebuland and decided to reward him by bestowing upon him the important title of Olori Omo Oba – a position formerly occupied by banking doyen Otunba Subomi Balogun until his demise.

Alhaji Wasiu is 67 today in good health and we pray his tenure is peaceful and brings progress.

Long May you live Olori Omo Oba

Long May you live Awujale

Long May Ijebu prosper

 

Seun Oloketuyi is the Producer of Awujale Biopic

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