The Federal Government has pleaded with the European Union (EU) for support in putting into effect its major changes for its immigration and penitentiary services.Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Minister of Interior, made the plea while hosting the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Samuela Isopi, in Abuja.
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While promising to boost Nigeria’s relations with the European Union, the Minister added that the decision follows his ministry’s intention to conduct significant reforms in areas such as migration and the reformation of Nigeria’s custodial facilities.According to Babatunde Alao, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Minister, who disclosed this in a statement on Saturday, Dr Tunji-Ojo described the relationship with the EU as “historical,” noting that areas of bonding with the ministry’s key reforms include combating irregular migration, uncovering organised crime, and upholding the rule of law.
“The European Union is important to the socio-economic development of Nigeria. Our relationship with the EU is historical in terms of but not limited to bilateral support.“If we are able to solve crime and migration problems in Nigeria, Africa will be better for it. Due to the boundaries Africa shares with the EU, our problems are more of an EU problem than any other part of the world. And, because we are committed to solving this, we will explore all avenues.”
The minister said that the EU might aid the nation in introducing technology to buffer zones and improving internal border management structures.
“We have commenced the process to remove the bottlenecks in our international passport application and collection processes. Today, we have made huge progress. We are also working on ways to reduce identity theft. We want to make sure the green passport regains its pride and integrity,” he added.