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Hon. Tunji-Ojo and his impact so far



1694770980 Tunji Ojo

By Bright Okuta

While surfing the internet in the early hours of today September 13, I stumbled upon a Twitter poll that asked Twitter users to vote for the minister with the most impressive performance so far in the Bola Tinubu administration.

The ministers on the list were the Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo; the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu; the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo and “others” which was an option for any other minister not mentioned on options A—C but should be specified in the comment section.

I voted “others” to reveal the scores, and I was surprised to see the minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo as the poll winner with a percentage score of 66% while the remaining options shared 34%.

For a moment, I wondered why the Minister of Interior won the poll with such a high margin over others. Then out of curiosity, I decided to do a quick research about the 41-year-old former parliamentarian.

To be frank, Hon Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo pricked my nerves. Without a minuscule exaggeration, the minister has registered quite a remarkable achievement in less than a month since he was inaugurated.

President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria

Away from his stint as a Member of the House of Representatives representing Akoko North East/Akoko North West, Tunji-Ojo has taken drastic actions depicting someone with an appetite for public service. I will write a little about what I found out.

There is a popular quote that competent leaders are identified by their blueprint or roadmap, usually backed by workable actions. This quote can confidently be ascribed to the honourable minister with justification.

Firstly, after he was inaugurated by the president, he released 8-point promises to Nigerians as goals to achieve as ministers. Amongst these points was the “Removal of bottlenecks in the acquisition of passports and other immigration documents.”

There is no iota of doubt that nine out of every ten Nigerians who occasionally travel out of the country have had an arduous experience in the process of acquiring a passport in Nigeria Immigration Service.

When I saw this as one of his blueprints, I blew it off because we have heard sweeter words from previous ministers in various ministries who ended up with abysmal performance.

But I was proven wrong. How? As I write, over 60,000 passport backlogs have been confirmed to be cleared within four days. This is just after Tunji-Ojo issued a stern directive six days ago to those in charge of passports to clear all pending passport applications with alacrity.

With my personal experience as a Nigerian applying for a passport, I don’t wish even my worst foe to have an encounter with the frustration of acquiring a passport. It is refreshing to note that the minister is being intentional about this and other issues.

I do not pour encomiums on politicians (whether elected or appointed) who perform, because it is what they are expected to do having been elected or appointed, but I am writing this because the Interior Ministry is one important ministry that has had little or no impact in the past and it is also important to commend effective actions by public office holders regardless of political affiliation. The decay in various agencies under the ministry has been left floating for too long without a minister with bold ideas to effect a change.

This is just one of the achievements that has so far been recorded. I will keep an eye on Tunji-Ojo going forward. I commend his energy and gusto for swift action in the Nigeria Immigration Service and other agencies under the Interior Ministry.

Bright Okuta writes from Abuja, Nigeria’s capital and can be reached via [email protected]