ministers_of_interior_in_nigeria

5 Agencies of Ministry of Interior in Nigeria and Their Mandates

Last Updated on November 14, 2021 by Ope Quadri

From internal affairs to the Ministry of Interior, this is the ministry that takes care of what happens with Nigeria’s territory, the reason for its name.

It has undergone minor restructuring in the past. For instance, it was merged with the ministry of police affairs in 2007 and before the inauguration of its second term cabinet, President Muhammadu Buhari made Police Affairs an independent ministry.

Its origin:

The government of Tafawa Balewa was first to appoint a Minister of Internal Affairs (now Interior)in 1957 when he inaugurated his first cabinet before independence.

The incumbent head of the ministry of interior is Rauf Aregbesola, a former commissioner in Lagos and an ex-governor of Osun State.

On creation, the ministry was charged with the responsibility of overseeing the internal security of Nigeria, this mandate has been redefined.

8 Core Mandates of Interior Ministry

  • Accepting and approving passport application
  • Co-ordination of National and Independence Day Celebration
  • In charge of recruitment of officers and men of the Prisons Service, Immigration Service, Fire Service and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps
  • Granting Nigerian Citizenship
  • Implement policies to reform and re-integrate inmates in Nigeria
  • Granting Business Permits and Expatriate Quotas
  • Managing the retirement benefits of retirees of Paramilitary Services under its coordination
  • To employ, train, promote, and sanction any member of paramilitary under its supervision.

Structure:

The interior ministry can only achieve its mandate through the effective internal working mechanism through the efforts of 12 departments, three units, and six agencies.

Its departments are:

  • Human Resource Management
  • Planning, Research & Statistics
  • Services Inspectorate Department
  • Joint Services Department
  • Finance & Accounts
  • General Services
  • Department of Joint Services
  • Reform & Coordination
  • Procurement
  • Legal Services
  • Department of Service Inspectorate
  • Citizenship & Business

The above departments are complemented by the internal audit unit, press unit, and the anti-corruption and transparency Unit

Agencies:

Interior Parastatal Year of establishment Remark
Federal Fire Service April 1963 To save lives and property by promptly attending to incidences of fire
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps 2003 To protect government properties and sensitize Nigerians about internal security
Nigeria Immigration Service August 1, 1963 To properly monitor exit and entry of Nigerians and foreigners into Nigeria by granting travel documents
The Civil Defence, Immigration, Prisons, Fire Service Board (CDFIPB) July 1986 To appoint, promote and discipline officers of the Services
Nigerian Correctional Service 1861 Formerly known as the Nigerian Prisons Service, the correctional service is to provide safety for inmates and train them in acquiring skills and reform them to become better people after their jail terms.
Contact details:
  • Old Federal Secretariat Area 1, Garki Abuja FCT Abuja, Nigeria.
  • Official website: interior.gov.ng
  • Facebook: @MinOfInteriorNG
  • Twitter: @MinOfInteriorNG
  • Instagram: @minofinteriorng

Assessment:

Again, this is another federal ministry through which weaknesses and failures of the government are exhibited to the rest of the world.

Correctional centres across Nigeria under its supervision are in a poor state, insecure and prone to attacks that have led to the illegal release of inmates in the past.

The prisons are overcrowded, inmates are poorly managed, prisons that are meant to reform inmates, most times turn them into hardened criminals

In fact, Nigeria’s Ministry of Interior makes a mockery of itself by the incessant prisons break in Nigeria. In 2021 alone, several inmates were freed by their “outsider criminals. Nigeria’s online newspaper TheCable reported that at least 4,307 inmates had escaped from prisons from 2017 till July 2021.

There have been prison breaks in Bauchi where over 700 prisoners escaped, in Shagamu minimum prison in Ogun state similar attack occurred, it’s the same in Olokuta Medium Security Prison in Akure, Ondo State where 175 prisoners escaped. The list is long.

Most times, it takes days for the ministry to release the names of the escaped inmates to aid rearrest.

All the agencies of ministry of interior have failed including the fire service that complains of scarcity of water whenever there is a case of fire disaster.

The ministry needs to do more in the acceleration of justice to reduce the number of awaiting trials (which constitute most of the congestion) in correctional centres spread across the country.

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