Senate summons Auditor General over unaudited Immigration account

The Senate Committee on Finance has invited the Auditor General of the Federation, Mr. Aghughu Arhotomhenia, to appear before on Tuesday March 24, 2021, for explanations on reasons why his office had not given guidelines for the auditing of the accounts of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola ( APC Lagos West ), gave the directive, Thursday, when the Controller General of Immigration, Mr. Mohammed Babandede, appeared before the committee.

According to him, the summoning was sequel to the refusal of the Auditor General to provide the required guidelines for Auditing of NIS despite  repeated letters for that purpose from Immigration Service.

In the course of investigative hearing the Committee had with the NIS boss on  remittances of internally generated revenue(IGR), the Chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC),  Barrister Victor Muruako, had disclosed to the committee that his agency had not received the audited accounts of NIS since 2017 contrary to the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 among other infractions. 

In his response, Mr. Babandede stated that there have been no guidelines from the Auditor General’s Office despite repeated official requests from the NIS adding that the unaudited accounts over the years had just been launched by the Minister of Interior.

The Immigration boss further disclosed that the revenue generating operations of the agency is under a public -private partnership(PPP) arrangement that he inherited with a sharing formular agreement that cannot be readily renegotiated or cancelled in the foreseeable future leaving the agency to remit only about 20 % of revenue generated to the Federal Government.

Senator Adeola directed the Immigration boss to furnish the committee with a comprehensive account of its revenue and the sharing in specific terms as well as details of the partners in the PPP deal as the committee intends to interact with the partners in his presence .

“There is a need to seriously interrogate the PPP arrangement and its duration as it seems to be an unending denial of needed revenue for Nigeria.

” A situation where partners collect 70%, leaving Immigration and Federal Government to share 30% over an unending period of time is looking more like a PickPocket Partnership arrangement for Nigeria that should be remedied,” he stated.

He added that  with the experience of Nigeria on PPP arrangement on the issue of passport and other immigration documents, there is need for the National Assembly to come up with legislation to guide and regulate such partnerships as the present ad –  hoc system is shortchanging the Federal Government

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