The House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Accounts has faulted the Nigerian Immigration Service for involving consultants to manage visa and passport-related matters at Nigerian missions across the world.
As a result the House committee on Friday summoned the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Shuaib Belgore; and the Acting Comptroller-General of the NIS, Idris Jere, to appear before it on Wednesday to discuss the issue.
The house committee issued the summon when an Assistant Comptroller-General in charge of Budget, Olubusola Fashakin, appeared before the committee to represent Jere over a query issued by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation against the NIS.
The Chairman of the committee, Oluwole Oke, said the arrangement was costing Nigeria a lot of money and should be stopped immediately, since the country has personnel who have been adequately trained to carry out the same functions.
He said “Nigeria is bleeding through this window and we will continue to borrow money to finance our budget. And one person sitting down in the corner of his room is making $90 on each applicant. It will not continue.”
Summoning the Federal Government officials, Oke said, “The Minister of Interior, the Permanent Secretary and the CG of the service are to cause appearance before this committee to speak to this issue.
The committee also directed the NIS to provide records of procurement and utilization of funds collected through service-wide votes for capital projects from 2013 to 2018.
It further asked the management of the National Institute for Democratic and Legislative Studies to defend the allegations against it in the 2017 report of the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation.
The office, in a query against the NILDS, accused its management of allegedly purchasing 11 vehicles at the cost of N375.8m.
The query also alleged that the management illegally paid N67m to another account.
The committee is currently scrutinizing the AuGF’s reports between 2016 and 2018.
The report indicted NILDS for allegedly inflating the purchase of the 11 vehicles by N36m.
The institute was expected to appear before the committee last Wednesday but failed to do so.
However, NILDS, in its written response to the query, claimed the payment was in respect of price variation due to change in the model of the vehicles supplied.
The management also claimed that the action was based on the approval of the National Assembly management.
The query reads, “At the National Institute for Democratic Legislative Studies, it was observed that 11 vehicles were purchased at a contract sum of N375,867,000.00 in April 2016.
“Examination of the Capital Account Cashbook revealed that an additional sum of N36, 610,000.00 was paid in favour of the contractor in September 2016 under the same contract, without approval.