The Senate has invited the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Minister of Interior, Abdulraham Danbazau, over alleged racketeering at the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) through phoney by service providers.
The unnamed service providers are involved in NIS functions like issuance of Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC); and production of passports, among others.
The Senate arrived at this decision on Wednesday following the presentation of a harmonised report of the both chambers of the National Assembly on the 2017 internally generated revenue and expenditure of the Service.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Andy Uba (APC, Anambra) told the Senate how service providers to the NIS retain “over 70 percent of the revenue generated through the NIS facilities.”
Noting that the “NIS is seriously working towards taking full control of the operations the technology project,” Uba said his committee recommended that the Service should be given support in “its proposed technology building project.”
Senator Adeola Olamilekan (APC, Lagos) decried the situation where unknown service providers take so much percentage of revenues generated and declared that the country “is in bondage.”
He said; “Nigeria is bondage. I tell you sir that the comptroller-general not in confidence, but in the presence of all various stakeholders and partners, said he is ready to take charge if given the necessary atmosphere but as it is his hands are tied.
“You find out that these various providers – there is one based in London that one has never appeared before anybody before in Nigeria. We invited him severally he refused to come.
“At the end of the day when you look at the sharing formula, certain amount of money goes straight to even the minister, ministry of interior every month. The one you have seen. The Nigerian Immigration Service which they have shared, that is why you have garbage in, garbage out aside what is coming from the central budget.”
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, expressed alarm at the submissions and wondered why anti-graft agencies had not probed the agreements that empowered service providers to retain such “ridiculous” fees.
Further consideration of the report was subsequently suspended as the senate mandated a probe by its committees on Judiciary, interior, and anti-corruption.