Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, clocked 42 years on May Day, 2024. At such a relatively young age, he has already logged intimidating credentials as a business management and Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) consulting professional.

He has consulted for blue-chip organizations like the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) (Management) Board, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Nigeria Gas Company (NGC), National Petroleum Investment and Management Services (NAPIMS), Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), World Bank, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), National Health Insurance Scheme, Abuja (NHIS), Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education (catch your breath).

Obviously, it was this evidence of Tunji-Ojo’s outstanding professionalism that earned him a place in President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s heart and cabinet. He was one of the distinguished young professionals whom the President appointed into Federal ministries departments and agencies (MDAs) last year to execute his Renewed Hope Agenda.

So far, Tunji-Ojo has lived up to expectations and professional reputation. Since assuming office as Minister of Interior, he has introduced unprecedented reforms, deftly steering the various agencies under his supervision towards a higher level of service delivery.

One of his hallmark achievements is the commendable feat of getting the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to swiftly clear an overwhelming backlog of 204,332 Nigerian Passports within a record-breaking three-week period, rescuing the nation from the grip of a dire national crisis.

He had pledged to revolutionise passport processing, promising a two-week timeline, and the introduction of home and office delivery of Passports commencing in February, 2024. Tunji-Ojo introduced revolutionary user-friendly e-platforms for visa applications, allowing passport photo uploads via the immigration portal. This initiative has further streamlined the application process, fostering convenience and accessibility to the country’s travelling documents

The minister unveiled enhanced e-passport facilities in key Nigerian embassies across Europe, a testament to his commitment to improving service capabilities for Nigerian citizens abroad, particularly in Spain, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. This proactive stance on international relations also demonstrates his commitment to reciprocity in visa processes, challenging inequitable privileges granted to foreign nationals while championing the rights of Nigerian applicants.

He has advocated for fair compensation for paramilitary officers and made a proposal for the establishment of a pension board for various security services, highlighting his dedication to ensuring better welfare and equity within the sector. His efforts signify a pivotal step towards aligning paramilitary salaries with those of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to ensure fairness and equity.

Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo’s tenure has witnessed an unprecedented promotion of 32,361 personnel across the Nigeria Correctional Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Fire Service, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

This move underscores the commitment of the #RenewedHope government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in prioritizing the welfare of officers, a feat unprecedented in the history of paramilitary service in Nigeria.

Tunji-Ojo showcased his resolve to decongest correctional facilities and commitment to rehabilitation and social justice through strategic partnerships and financial assistance. This facilitated the clearance of fines and compensations worth N585 million for 4,068 inmates, an evidence of his compassionate approach to criminal justice reform.

His dedication to transforming correctional homes into centers of rehabilitation signifies a paradigm shift from punitive measures to holistic rehabilitation, fostering hope and redemption.

In recognition of his sterling performances, he was awarded the “Public Service Person of The Year 2023” by the Leadership newspaper.

According to Leadership, he was considered worthy for finding his way into the hearts of millions of citizens for whom obtaining or renewing the Nigerian passport had become a nightmare; for his bold, extensive and exceptional reforms tackling the perennial passport booklet debacle at NIS in less than five weeks into his assumption of office.

In line with these accomplishments, Tunji-Ojo’s engagement with agencies, stakeholders, and international partners underscores his commitment to tackling illegal migration and organised crime, ensuring a safer and more secure nation.

Tunji-Ojo’s reign as Minister of Interior so far stands as a testament to his unwavering dedication and transformative leadership. His outstanding performance as the Minister of Interior has also been acknowledged and even commended by the president.

President Tinubu recently commended Tunji-Ojo for his transformative efforts in the areas of resolving the issue of passports issuance as well as repositioning the activities of Nigeria Immigration Service. The President’s encouraging remarks underscored the giant strides of Tunji-Ojo which will also serve as a catalyst for the minister to surpass himself.

Tunji-Ojo’s accomplishments in a relatively short time is seen by many as a prelude to greater things to come in the coming years. He appears poised to elevate the Ministry of Interior to greater heights, fortifying the nation’s security and amplifying its role in shaping a brighter future for Nigeria.

Born on May 1, 1982, in Ondo State, Nigeria, Tunji-Ojo’s early life was marked by an innate curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. His academic excellence led him to the University of North London (now London Metropolitan University), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering in 2005, followed by a master‘s degree in Digital Communication and Networking in 2006.  He is a Certified Ethical Hacker, CEH, and CounterMeasures (2006) Britannia Training Academy, United Kingdom.Tunde-Ojo is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations, University of London.

This solid foundation in engineering and ICT became the springboard for his future accomplishments. At just 24, he became the CEO of Matrix IT Solutions Limited, a leading indigenous ICT consulting firm in Nigeria. His expertise and innovative approach earned him recognition and respect, leading to consultations with prominent organisations like the World Bank, JAMB, and PTDF. His pioneering efforts in the oil and gas industry, particularly the 2016 Nigerian Content Workshop, showcased his ability to drive change and foster collaboration. His leadership and vision transformed the ICT landscape, empowering businesses and individuals alike.

His entry into politics in 2019 marked a new chapter in his life. As a member of the House of Representatives, he chaired the House Committee on NDDC, spearheading a groundbreaking probe into financial activities within the commission.

His commitment to transparency and accountability earned him the respect of his peers and the admiration of the public. His dedication to public service and leadership has attracted numerous awards, including an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Public Administration and the Sir Ahmadu Bello Platinum Leadership Award of Excellence.

Tunji-Ojo’s leadership philosophy is rooted in empathy, compassion, and a deep understanding of the human condition. He has consistently demonstrated a willingness to listen, to learn, and to adapt, earning him the trust and admiration of his colleagues and the public. His dedication to public service, passion for innovation, and unwavering commitment to the welfare of Nigerians have made him a beloved figure and a shining example of leadership.