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Senate probes NIS revenue-sharing formula

By Taiye Odewale

Abuja

 

The Senate yesterday frowned on the “unfavourable revenue sharing formula” being used on yearly basis by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in which the bulk of the revenues generated ended in the coffers of contractual private firms.

This was as the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, declared the arrangement as nonsensical, saying “we can’t continue with this kind of nonsense.”

The Senate consequently set up a technical committee comprising its standing committees on Interior , Judiciary and anti- corruption to liaise with critical stakeholders like the  Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahaman Danbazzau, the Comptroller – General of Immigration Service, Mohammed Babandede, and others, for out of the unfavourable revenue sharing arrangement.

The upper legislative chamber also resolved that approval for the 2017 budget proposal for NIS should be suspended till the outcome of the meeting between the technical committee and the invited stakeholders.

Trouble started for possible approval of the 2017 budget of NIS, when the Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Andy Uba, presented harmonised report of the Senate and House Committees on Interior on the 2017 Internally Generated Revenue and expenditure of the Nigerian Immigration Service.

In the report, while 20% of various revenues to be generated by the agency is earmarked for the federal government, 7% for NIS, a whooping percentage of 72 are to be shared by private partners under contractual agreements that had been in place for the past 10 years.

An arrangement that in the 2017 revenue projections for the agency will make the federal government get paltry sum of N1.2 billion out of the  expected N31 billion. 

This, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and virtually all the senators who commented on the report, said was “unacceptable and highly nonsensical.”

“We cannot continue with this kind of nonsense. It is unacceptable and not expected to still be in practice in a government of change.

“It is an endless open agreement – it has been like this for over 10 Years – if not more than that. In a government of change which we have Promised, by now, their agreement would have been terminated.

“If possible, Nigeria would have set up the necessary technology to start handling all these; there are some of these that they are operating from London and not within our country,” Saraki said.

He, therefore, upon motion moved by Senator Bassey Akpan (PDP, Akwa Ibom North-east) and seconded by Senator Olamilekan Adeola (APC, Lagos West), mandated the Senate Committees on Interior, Judiciary and Anti-corruption to liaise with the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Minister of Interior and the Immigration boss for way out of the injurious revenue sharing arrangement.

About Taiye Odewale