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UNCOVERED! Fed ministry discovers 2,400 foreigners with fake national identity numbers

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has revealed that the ministry uncovered 2,400 foreigners with fake National Identity Numbers, NIN attempting to acquire Nigerian passports.

This was as he also emphasized the critical role of identity management in enhancing national security.

Tunji-Ojo stated this during a courtesy visit by the President and Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Investigators of Nigeria, Dr. Illiyasu Gashinbaki, and his team.

In a statement signed by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Ozoya Imohimi, on Wednesday, Tunji-Ojo highlighted the importance of having a robust identity management system to track and monitor individuals within the country effectively.

“Identity management is the foundation of any nation, and the prevalence of identity theft in Nigeria is alarming. Unearthing the truth about identities is crucial for addressing critical issues.

“Recently, we uncovered 2,400 non-Nigerians with fake National Identity Numbers attempting to acquire Nigerian passports.

This passport symbolises our sovereignty and identity as Nigerians.

“Identity management is key to boosting our national security. It enables us to have a comprehensive database of residents, which is crucial for identifying and addressing security threats promptly,” said Tunji-Ojo.

He explained that the government’s ongoing efforts to improve the national identity management system aim to provide accurate and up-to-date information, which will assist law enforcement agencies in their operations.

The minister also pointed out that a reliable identity management system can help prevent crimes, track down criminals, and ensure that resources are allocated effectively to maintain public safety.

He said two key responsibilities of the Ministry of Interior include enhancing national security and preserving citizenship integrity, adding, “We must build capacity to conduct forensic analysis domestically, eliminating the need to travel abroad for such services.”

The Minister further highlighted the ministry’s commitment to supporting the Institute and enhancing the integrity of national documents.

“The integrity of our documents is crucial for national pride and security. Many individuals holding Nigerian documents are not Nigerians. For instance, we recently arrested a British Airways crew member with a Nigerian passport procured in London, who turned out to be Ugandan,” Tunji-Ojo disclosed.
Addressing Nigeria’s reputation, the minister stated, “Nigerians are among the most law-abiding people I’ve encountered. With over 200 million citizens, our correctional centres house about 70,000 inmates, including approximately 25,000 convicted individuals. This means only 0.035 per cent of Nigerians are in custody, reflecting the law-abiding nature of the vast majority. Unfortunately, the actions of a few have tarnished our national image.”

During the visit, Dr. Gashinbaki expressed the Institute’s desire for continued partnership with the Ministry.

He stressed the importance of verifying and authenticating documents, capacity building, and maintaining the ministry’s representation on the Institute’s Council.

“Our goal is to establish independent laboratories to conduct forensic analysis. This ensures impartiality and adherence to scientific protocols in legal cases. We have also witnessed numerous building collapse due to inadequate testing of structures and product specifications, particularly from countries dumping substandard products in Africa,” Gashinbaki said.

The Ministry of Interior, responsible for maintaining internal security, public safety, and the administration of immigration and border control in Nigeria, remains dedicated to enhancing national security and preserving the integrity of Nigerian citizenship.

Through collaboration with organizations like the Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Investigators of Nigeria, the ministry aims to uphold the highest standards of document verification and forensic analysis to protect and serve the nation.

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