Immigration boss, Babandede, decries PPP arrangement

• Says N18bn lost

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service ( NIS), Mohammed Babandede, has faulted the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement signed on behalf of the agency by the Ministry of Interior with private companies.

Addressing the Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Interior, Babandede described the arrangement as a national swindle. He said the contract agreement between the Ministry of Interior and the private companies was skewed in favour of the private companies to the detriment of operational efficiency of NIS.

He lamented that moves by the NIS to rebuff the contract have since been challenged by the private companies who have since secured N18 billion judgement against NIS.

He said:” The sharing formula in the agreement between NIS and the private companies, was skewed in favour of the companies which to us, is economically injurious to the nation.

“Expectedly, immigration as a body has vehemently protested against the whole arrangement but the fact that the agreement was signed on our behalf by the Interior Ministry, the private companies have continued to have upper hand.”

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He, however, noted that there was a ray of hope with the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari, who has directed the anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), to investigate the controversial deal.

Former Borno state governor and Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kashim Shettima, however, faulted the judgement of the NIS in giving N18 billion to one of the companies in 2017 and another N16 billion in 2018.

Speaking with newsmen shortly after the interactive session with newsmen, Babandede said the January deadline for irregular migrants to regularise their stay in the country remained sacrosanct. He vowed that those who refused would be deported.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has given them six months grace of Amnesty which started from 18th of July this year and ends on 19th of January 2020.

“During this period, biometric data of concerned migrants are to be taken and documented. Information to that effect has been sent out to all the affected migrants that whoever refuses to comply, will from January 20, 2020, be on the radar of Immigration operatives for arrest and deportation.”

Responding to the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service lamentation that his agency received only N3.4billion out of the N13.175 capital votes appropriated for it in 2018 budget, while it has been starved of the N8.214 billion appropriated for capital projects in 2019, the Committee promised to seek audience with the Minister of Finance , Budget and National Planning to save the agency from the narrative of poor capital budget funding .

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