*Says Nigeria will descend on irregular migrants in January 2020
By Musa Adamu
The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammed Babandede , Thursday, lamented over the Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement signed on behalf of the agency by Ministry of Interior with private companies .
Babandede who made the lamentation during an interactive session with the Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Interior, said the agreements are skewed in favour of the private companies to the detriment of operational efficiency of NIS.
According to him, attempts made to jettison the agreement by NIS was frustrated by the beneficiary companies by going to court and securing N18billion judgement against NIS.
“The sharing formula in the agreement between NIIS and the private companies , was skewed in favour of the companies which to us, is economically injurious to the Nation .
“Expectedly, Immigration as a body has vehemently protested against the whole arrangement but the fact that the agreement was signed on our behalf by the Interior Ministry , the private companies have continued to have upper hand “, he said .
He however informed members of the joint committee, that President Muhammadu Buhari has already taken up the matter with operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) thoroughly investigating the agreement .
Babandede who refused to explain in details , what the contractual agreements were all about and companies involved , was taken up on it by the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kashim Shettima ( APC Borno Central ), on why the agency gave N18billion to one the companies in 2017 and another N16billion in 2018 .
On irregular migrants in the country, the Immigration boss said from January 20, 2020 , any of the irregular migrants that had not done biometric capturing, will be arrested and deported .
“ President Muhammadu Buhari has given them six months grace of Amnesty which started from 18th of July this year and ends on 19th of January 2020 .
“ During this period , biometric data of concerned migrants are to be taken and documented . Information to that effect has been sent out to all the affected migrants that whoever refuses to comply, will from January 20, 2020, be on the radar of Immigration operatives for arrest and deportation”, he explained.
He added that while the agency received only N3.4billion out of the N13.175 capital votes appropriated for it in 2018 budget , not a single dime , has been released from N8.214 billion appropriated for capital projects in 2019 .
The committee members however resolved to approach the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning on behalf of the agency for way out of the poor capital budget funding.