N3.9bn residence permit scam: Ministry official, Firm Land in EFCC

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The Comptroller General of NIS, Muhammad Babandede, stated this before the Senate Committee on Public Account when he appeared to defend an Auditor General’s query issued against the agency

He said the contract in contention was between the Ministry of Interior and CCTL.

He explained that the NIS was included in the deal as a mere enforcing agency on behalf of the Ministry of Interior, adding that the money should be collected from those involved in the deal.

Babanded said, “We have written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on the matter. The money they collected for those centres should be collected back.

“Therefore, the Nigeria Immigration Service may not give satisfactory answer to any query convincingly from this contract.”

Part of the Auditor General’s query had read, “The purpose of this contract was to replace the paper Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card in use with combined special purpose card that would ensure computer legibility and 21st Century computer compatibility.

“Applicant would pay $350 which formed the basis for sharing ratio as follows: Federal Government, 50 per cent; contractor, 40 per cent, while a designated account of the ministry as operation cost is 10 per cent.

“The following irregularities were observed; FGN, 20 per cent; contractor, 40 per cent; contractor, 25 per cent; contractor, 7 percent; NIS, 7 per cent; and Ministry of Interior, 1 per cent.

“As at December 2015, physical audit inspection revealed that nothing had been done at new issuing centres in 28 states command, even after N3.9bn had been deducted or set aside from sharing ratio purpose between 2014 and 2015.

The Committee, which has Senator Mathew Urhoghide as Chairman, released the NIS boss and his team after their submission and asked them to await further communication on the issue. (The Punch)

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