The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee has faulted the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) for engaging consultants to manage visa and passport matters in embassies.
It summoned the Minister of Interior, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, the Acting Comptroller General of Immigration to appear before it on December 22 to address the issue.
Acting Comptroller General of the Service, Idris Jere, represented by Assistant Comptroller General, Budget, Olubusola Fashakin, appeared before the committee due to a query from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation against the NIS.
The Chairman of the Committee Wole Oke said the situation was costing the country a lot of money and should be stopped.
Oke said: “We visited your embassies and the Auditor-General raised some queries on some missions so we visited South Africa and Atlanta, US.
“We discovered that Nigeria is losing serious money through your operations.
“You engaged consultants to manage your passports and visas platform.
“In my opinion, NIS personnel were trained to manage visa and passport matters. That is your core mandate.
“So, on what basis are you now engaging consultants? So what are you people doing in the office? So your men are idle, roaming the streets.
“And Nigeria is bleeding through this window and we would 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 would not continue.
“The Minister of Interior, the Permanent Secretary, the CG is to cause appearance before this committee to speak to this issue.
“You have a letter from this committee asking you to furnish this committee with the particulars of all the consultants you have engaged and the agreement you signed with them. Nigeria is bleeding through this window.
“What are your men doing? Why did we train you and engage you? Your men are idle, roaming the streets, sitting down in the office and consultants are doing your job and taking away our money.
“The Minister of Interior, the Permanent Secretary, the CG have to come with the agreement you signed and give reasons that you have to deny personnel trained and employed to do this work.
“You are also exposing Nigerians to risk. Data protection. We owe Nigerians a high duty of care and we would discharge it.”
The Committee also directed NIS to furnish it with procurement records on utilisation of money collected through service-wide votes and deployed for capital purposes from 2013 to 2018.