By Dipo Olowookere
Minister of the Interior, Mr Abdulrahman Bello Dambaza, has been directed to appear before the Senate to answer questions relating to immigration deals.
At its meeting on Saturday in Abuja, the Senate adhoc committee on Alleged Misuse, Under Remittance, and other Fraudulent Activities in Collection, Remittance and Expenditure of Internally Generated Revenue by MDAs, also summoned the Attorney General of the Federation as well as the Accountant General and four companies.
They are needed by the committee to explain their involvement in alleged e-passport deals.
Chairman of the adhoc committee, Mr Solomon Adeola, disclosed that there were allegations that revenues were withheld from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
In a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Mr Kayode Odunaro, the Senator said, “The AGF, Mr Ahmed Idris, and four private companies were invited to appear before it to brief the committee on the multi-billion-naira e-passport production.”
The four firms summoned by the Senate are Contec Nigeria Ltd, Greater Washington Nigeria Ltd, Newwork Solution and Investment Ltd, and Iris Smart Technologies.
They were said to be working on e-passport production, Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien Card and other immigration-related issues.
Mr Adeola noted that they allegedly had contractual agreements to perform some revenue generating service on behalf of NIS, while withholding certain percentage of revenue accrued to Federal Government.
He explained that the committee had invited various public officials and corporate organisations following presentation made by Comptroller General of NIS, Mohammed Babandede, on the revenue profile of the service.
“I am at a loss as to why huge part of revenue generated by NIS that should actually be based on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) was being paid to private firms in the name of PPP.
“We cannot be denying the Nigerian people of benefits that should accrue to them through increased revenue to government coffers, while allowing huge earnings for private concerns.
“This is an area that government can generate huge revenue. There is need to get clarifications on this issue from all the parties involved,” he said.
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