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“This is ridiculous”: Saraki, senators enraged by Immigration Service agreements

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“This is ridiculous”: Saraki, senators enraged by Immigration Service agreements

Senators were outraged on Wednesday after the Senate Committee on Interior led by Senator Andy Uba submitted its report on the budget of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS). The committee concluded in its report that the NIS and the Nigerian government are terribly disadvantaged in the revenue sharing formula for agreements reached with private partners.

Consider this:

  • For the Combined Expatriates Residents Permit and Alien Cards (CERPAC) which non-Nigerians must get to reside in Nigeria, here is the sharing formula: FG (20%), NIS (7%), Ministry of Interior (1%) and the private sector partner (72%). What that means: Out of the projected revenue for that service of N14.2 billion, the private partner would make a whopping N10.2 billion.
  • For the E-passport scheme, the sharing formula is as follows: FG (45%), NIS (7%), Ministry of Interior (1%) and the private sector partners (47%). What that means: Out of the projected revenue for that service of N892.5 million, the private partners would make N419.5 million.
  • For Address Verification, partners would get 55%.
  • For Non-refundable Admin Fees, partners would get 65%.
  • According to the committee, the contracts do not even have duration. “They do whatever they like and for as many years as possible,” Chairman Uba said.

Senate President Bukola Saraki was stunned: “What kind of agreements are these and which part of the world can you sign an agreement where the partner in the private sector is taking 72 per cent of collection? And nobody is investigating this? The people in the EFCC have not gone there to go and meet the people who drafted this kind of agreement to explain the basis? This is ridiculous. Can you throw more light on why this kind of agreement can exist in our government of change? Though we inherited it, we should have upturned this agreement by now.”

Resolutions by the senate:

  • The upper chamber suspended consideration of the NIS budget.
  • A technical committee comprising the Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen of Interior, Judiciary and Anti-Corruption was constituted to meet with the Minister of Interior, Attorney General of the Federation, officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and the NIS,in order to make recommendations on how the contracts can be terminated.

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