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NIS Deploys Team to clear Over 100,000 Unclaimed Passports



unclaimed passports

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A task force saddled with the responsibility of clearing the over 100,000 produced but unclaimed passports nationwide has been set up by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).

It was gathered that Lagos topped the list of uncollected passports with about 40,000.

The team will work in collaboration with Zonal Comptrollers, State Comptrollers and Passport Controllers in their respective areas of responsibility to ensure speedy collection of the produced passports by the applicants.

The Comptroller General of Immigration, Mr Isah Jere Idris, who constituted the task force, charged the Assistant Comptroller Generals (ACGs) to ensure the smooth collection of the unclaimed passports.

The NIS chief said the mandate of the senior officers was to ensure that everything possible was done to locate the applicants whose passports were among the 100,000 produced passports that have not been collected by the prospective holders.

The immigration boss, while describing as worrisome the failure of applicants to come forward to collect their passports months after they were produced, called on those that applied for Nigerian travel passports since January last year and those that applied within the six weeks’ passport processing timeline to visit the Passport Offices where they did their biometric capture for collection of their produced passports.

While assuring that immigration personnel were always working round the clock to ensure the speedy processing of applications and production of passports to meet the needs of the travelling public, the CGI stated that passport production was a continuous exercise as it was not limited to any particular time or season of the year.

To further assist the applicants, he enjoined passport applicants to always check their application status by using any of the numerous channels which the NIS has provided, including the Passport Application Tracking (PATs) solution (, notice boards at the Passport Offices and the NIS website for regular updates.

On what could have been responsible for the high number of unclaimed produced passports, Mr Idris blamed the applicants, many of whom he said supplied incorrect contact details such as inactive telephone numbers, contact addresses and e-mail addresses, thereby making it difficult for NIS personnel at the Passport Offices to reach them for the collection of their passports.

He also disclosed that it had come to the notice of the NIS that some applicants were still patronising third parties to fill and submit applications on their behalf, noting that in many cases, incorrect information about the applicants was supplied. In some cases, the third parties used their own contact details, while a majority of the applicants neither verified nor double-checked such information supplied.

He appealed to passport applicants to stop the practising of going through third parties, warning that they could be at security risks, including breach of their personal data and other fraudulent activities.

“It is like someone wants to travel and sends a third party to buy a ticket from the airline, on filling out the particulars of the intending traveller, the person sent to buy the ticket filled in his or her telephone number and e-mail address.

“So, a few minutes to flight time, the airline sends an SMS to all intending passengers notifying them the flight has been cancelled or rescheduled. The passenger unknowingly rushes to the airport only to discover a change in flight time. Who is to blame? Nigerians should be aware that the Nigerian passport is more than a travelling document; it is a personal identity and a personal security asset of the holder, and the sanctity of the process of obtaining it must be protected,” the NIS boss advised.

It would be recalled that the Federal Ministry of Interior and NIS recently rolled out some initiatives aimed at making obtaining and renewing the Nigerian international passport quicker and less cumbersome, including a six-week timeframe to apply and get the new enhanced e-Passport for fresh applicants and three weeks for reissue.

Also, Diaspora Fast Track Programme was launched recently, which made it possible for holders of expired Nigerian passports in the Diaspora to board at their countries of residence and be admitted into Nigeria with their expired passports without any inhibition.

A circular had also been sent out to consular offices, local and international airlines, and Immigration Comptrollers at the nation’s airports to allow Nigerians in the Diaspora with expired Nigerian passports to be allowed free passage whenever they wanted to come to Nigeria.

Furthermore, a special desk called Diaspora Desk was also set up at International Airports in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt to provide expeditious immigration services to Nigerians in the Diaspora especially the application for the renewal of their expired passports immediately upon arrival in Nigeria. The Fast Track Programme has enabled a lot of Nigerians in the Diaspora with expired passports who came home for the year-end holidays to renew their expired passports under two weeks at no extra fee before returning to their countries of residence.

As part of the Diaspora Fast Track Programme, the Passport Offices also commenced Saturday operations for the processing and production of passports and this significantly made it possible for many Nigerians in the Diaspora to renew their expired Nigerian passports as quickly as possible.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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There Are People in the Villa Who Want APC to Lose 2023 Elections—El-Rufai



El-Rufai on Channels TV

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Nasir El-Rufai, has disclosed that some persons in the corridors of power are working to weaken the chances of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in this year’s general elections.

On February 25, 2023, Nigerians will head to the polls to elect a new president and members of the National Assembly, and on March 11, 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will conduct the governorship and state houses of assembly elections.

While speaking recently in Ogun State, the candidate of the APC in the presidential exercise, Mr Bola Tinubu, claimed that some powers that be were plotting to ensure that he does not win the presidential poll.

READ: Starting and Managing a Profitable Catfish Farming Business in Nigeria

According to him, these people in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari are behind the current scarcity of premium motor spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, and the scarcity of new Naira notes, which has affected many businesses in the country.

“They are full of mischief, they could say there is no fuel. They have been scheming to create a fuel crisis but forget about it. Relax, I, Asiwaju, have told you that the issue of fuel supply will be permanently addressed,” he said at the campaign rally,” Mr Tinubu said at the campaign rally in Abeokuta recently.

“Let them increase the price of fuel, let them continue to hoard fuel, only them know where they have hoarded fuel, they hoarded money, they hoarded naira; we will go and vote, and we will win even if they changed the ink on Naira notes. Whatever their plans, it will come to nought,” he added.

READ: Tinubu Lambasts Buhari Over Fall in Naira Value at Forex Market

Speaking on Wednesday on a Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, which was monitored by Business Post, Governor El-Rufai agreed with Mr Tinubu that some people in power were making efforts to contribute to the downfall of the APC at the polls this month, saying some of the policies of the federal government led by the APC were anti-people.

“Nigerians should know that these policies are not policies of our party but some economists who are bent on making sure that we lose the election. Policies purposely designed to crash the political process,” Mr El-Rufai stated.

He further said, “I believe that there are elements in the Villa that want us to lose the elections because they didn’t get their way. They had their candidates but did not win the [presidential] primaries. They are still trying to get us to lose the elections and are hiding behind the President’s desire to do what he thinks is right.”

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Google Unveils Startups Accelerator for African Women Founders



African Women Founders Startups Accelerator

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

An initiative aimed at empowering and supporting women founders in Africa has been launched by Google. It is called Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders Africa Program.

It is an extension of the Google for Startups Accelerator Africa program established in 2017, reflecting Google’s dedication to supporting startups and addressing the unique challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Africa.

Through the programme, African women entrepreneurs will receive resources and opportunities to scale their startups and address African problems.

Intending participants can apply via before the February 20, 2023, deadline. Eligible applicants must have a working product or service, a viable business model, and a working team. The application process includes a written application and an interview with the program team.

The 12-week program will commence in March 2023 and include one bootcamp per month, held in a hybrid style of online and in-person sessions. Selected participants will receive access to Google’s products, mentoring from industry experts, resources, tools, and technology, as well as networking opportunities and connections with investors to support the growth of their startups.

“We are excited about the open call for applications for our 3-month accelerator program, specifically tailored to address the unique challenges faced by women founders in Africa. We believe that investing in women founders in Africa is critical for economic empowerment that will enable the creation of jobs for the growing African youth population,” says Folarin Aiyegbusi, head of Startup Ecosystem, Africa at Google.

African female founders face challenges in their entrepreneurial pursuits, including limited access to funding. Despite these challenges, women make up a significant portion of African entrepreneurs, with 58 per cent of African businesses owned by women.

“Elevating the participation and leadership of women in the entrepreneurship ecosystem is crucial for promoting gender equality and driving economic growth in Africa. Investing in women-led startups is a key step towards achieving this goal, and Google’s commitment to these goals is reflected in the launch of the Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders Africa Program,” added Aiyegbusi.

The Women Founders will be mentored by industry experts who will guide and support the selected participants throughout the program. They will be instrumental in helping startups achieve their full potential and positively impact their communities.

Akua Nyame-Mensah, a mentor for the program, said, “It’s an honour to be a mentor in the inaugural Google for Startups Accelerator Program for Women Founders. As part of supporting the next generation of leaders in Africa, this program offers women an opportunity to grow their networks and the accountability to achieve their professional goals. The focus on mentorship will be invaluable. Participants will benefit and grow from the exchange of ideas and experiences.”

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Egbin Power Renovates Ijede Police Station



Ijede Police Station

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Egbin Power Plc has been commended for rehabilitating the Ijede Police Station in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State through and Sahara Foundation.

The facility was renovated to boost security in Ijede, Egbin and Ipakan communities. The project was commissioned on Thursday, January 26, 2023, with representatives from the Nigeria Police Force, Egbin Power, Sahara Foundation, and stakeholders from the communities in attendance.

“We express deep appreciation to Egbin Power and Sahara Group for this beautifully renovated project. We want to assure them that what they have done today will be properly maintained, and we extend our hands of fellowship to them and the people of these communities.

“I want to reassure them that we will continue to render better security to the communities,” the Lagos State Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in charge of Administration, Mr Ewah Bassey, commented.

He further stated that the project would go a long way in boosting the morale of the officers at the station and supporting the police officers’ efforts towards promoting peace and security in the community.

While commending the firms, the Area Commander, Area ‘N’ Ijede Division, ACP S. K. Bawa, noted that the renovation project carried out by Egbin Power Plc, and Sahara Foundation was a noteworthy initiative, which would further boost security in the communities and improve the welfare of officers in the police station.

Similarly, the Obateru of Egbin Kingdom, Oba Adeoriyomi Oyebo, applauded Sahara Foundation and Egbin for enhancing security in the communities through the intervention.

“From the project we have just commissioned, I want to commend the efforts of the management of Egbin Power and Sahara Foundation. This is the kind of cooperation that exists between the organizations, the communities, and the police.

“I want to urge the police, especially at the divisional level here at Ijede, to make good use of the laudable project and make sure that the project is sustained and maintained,” the monarch said.

In his remarks, the chief executive of Egbin Power, Mr Mokhtar Bounour, explained that the company, through Sahara Foundation, has further demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by making an impact in the lives of people and adding value to communities where the organizations operate.

He disclosed that the project was part of Egbin Power’s commitment to enhancing infrastructure development, socio-economic growth, and effective policing to promote safety and security in the company’s host communities.

“This initiative is part of our strategy at Egbin Power Plc to be closer to the communities where we operate. The police are a vital part of our stakeholders in society, and we appreciate the effort and resources they apply to deliver adequate security to protect lives and property. We also know they are doing their best to keep people and property safe in our communities.

“So, through projects of this nature, we will continue to demonstrate our encouragement and support for them in discharging their duties and making a difference,” he said.

In her remarks, the Director for Governance & Sustainability at Sahara Group, Ms Ejiro Gray, said, “the intention of this initiative is to ensure that our Police officers who risk their lives every day and night to secure lives and property in our communities are able to perform their duties in a conducive atmosphere and with the right infrastructure and facilities.

“So, this is one of the ways we are contributing our quota to that agenda of promoting access to energy, a sustainable environment by transforming lives and livelihood at Sahara Foundation, Sahara Group and by extension Egbin Power Plc.

“We cannot talk about making an impact without providing adequate security of lives and property, which is a core component of the wellbeing of every society and community.”

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