The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, spoke at the media briefing organized by the Presidential Media Team at the Presidential Villa, monitored by Persecondnews.com.
He explained that the biometrics of all custodial inmates in the country have been captured and would enable the escapees to be tracked and rearrested.
“How long can they continue to run from the state? The state is a patient bird. You can run but you can never hide. We have their biometrics. Whenever and wherever they appear to transact any business, their cover will be blown.
“I will like to inform Nigerians that we have captured the biometric information of all inmates in the facilities of NCoS working in partnership with the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
“Therefore, we have the capacity and are tracking all escapees from our facilities. In addition, we are working with and have shared the details of escapees with INTERPOL to check the risks of cross border movements,” Aregbesola told newsmen.
“Four of them are doing Ph.D programmes. 560 inmates have been enrolled for WAEC/NECO examinations while 2,300 are enrolled for Adult Literacy classes in several custodial centers.”
On issuance of passports, Aregbesola said the problem associated with getting international passports will soon be over, disclosing that 2,742,207 passports have been issued by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in the two years.
“It is important to inform you that we have witnessed growing demand for the Nigerian passport both locally and by Nigerians in diaspora. A total of 2,742,207 passports of different categories were issued between 2019 to date.
“The Ministry is aware of the challenges faced by applicants for processing and reissue of passports. I want to use this unique opportunity to assure Nigerians that the current experience will soon be a thing of the past.
“New production and capture centres will be opened in the next few weeks to ease access by Nigerians all over the world.
“I am pleased to inform Nigerians that the Ministry has taken substantial measures to address the issue of shortages of the e-passport booklets.
” This year alone, the ministry approved a special deployment of over 600,000 passport booklets, the largest of its kind ever done, to cushion the effects of shortages being experienced.
“The year-on-year increasing growth rate is however putting a lot of pressure on the current processing structure and resources and further justifies the need for a reform in the passport application and processing system in line with the current reality,” Aregbesola said.
On COVID-19, he said no single case has been recorded in the various custodial centres.
According to him, 174,000 jobs have been created for Nigerians through the administration of Expatriate Quotas and Business Permits.
“Between 2019 and October 2021, over 87 000 expatriate quotas were granted, 951 business permits were granted and 598 licenses were issued to public places of worship for the conduct of statutory marriages.
“172:000 understudy jobs have been created through the expatriate quota administration system. We recently inaugurated a Ministerial Task Force on the Monitoring of Expatriate Quota.
“The primary objective is to audit, monitor and enforce the conditions for the approval of expatriate quota and foreign business permit. Nigerians may wish to note that one of the conditions for the approval of Expatriate Quota is that for every expatriate position, the company must employ two Nigerians to understudy the expatriate,” he stressed.