NIS entered agreements that put Nigeria in “bondage”, Senate says; suspends budget consideration

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The Senate on Wednesday refused to approve the budget of Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, over an alleged fraudulent agreement entered with some companies by the service.

The senators said a report showed that the service had entered into series of agreement with companies in Nigeria and abroad against due process.

The agreement over the years had reportedly rendered the service incapable of remitting its revenue to the Federal Government as it (agreement) reportedly gulps most of its revenue.

Reacting to this, Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Bayero Nafada, Gombe-PDP, said the committee’s effort at investigating the deals had proved abortive.

He explained that some of the companies are unknown while the known ones have refused to honour invitations by the Senate committee.

He said: “Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, I can confirm to you that Immigration has ‘endless agreements’ with some companies processing international passports. I keep wondering where agreements take place without a duration.”

Responding to a summon by the Senate President to explain, a member of the Interior Committee, Solomon Olamilekan, Lagos-APC, said that the agreements had put the nation in ‘bondage.’

He noted that the company contracted by the service to process international passport for Nigeria is located in London and had never honoured any invitation by the committee.

“Mr. President, Nigeria is in bondage. How can the immigration go into agreements without a time limit and you see what happens there? One of the contractors in London has never visited Nigeria. Efforts to invite him to appear before our committee proved abortive,” he added.

He alleged that ministry officials refused to ‘open up’ during interrogation because of ”kickbacks they receive after transactions.”

The lawmakers agreed, through a voice vote, that the budget should be suspended while the interior committee investigates the matter.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer, PRO, of the service, Sunday James said he is not aware of any agreement entered into by the service.

“I don’t know anything about issue of agreement entered. Procurement, agreement and other things that have to do with products are not in my area of jurisdiction,” he said.

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