By Muhyideen Jimoh
Abuja – The House of Representatives Committee on Interior has decried the use of foreign companies by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in the production of passports and other revenue generating services.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Adams Jagaba, stated this on Thursday in Abuja when he led members of the committee on an oversight visit to the NIS.
He decried the fact that virtually all the four companies engaged in the production of the e-passport, Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien Cards took away about 70 percent of the revenue generated.
”We don’t need to outsource our rights; you cannot involve foreigners to take over the work of Immigration services.
“Some of the service providers take 70 percent of the revenue generated by NIS while allowing the government to go with just about 25 to 30 percent,” Jagaba said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that four firms: Contec Nigeria Ltd.; Greater Washington Nigeria Ltd.;, Newwork Solution and Investment Ltd.; and Iris Smart Technologies were contracted for e-passport production, expatriate residence permit and alien card as well as other immigration services.
He, however, acknowledged that the NIS hands were tied since the contracts were signed years ago by the Ministry of Interior without much inputs from the NIS.
He said that the committee had held a public hearing on the matter and would soon present it’s recommendation with a view to correcting the anomaly.
The Comptroller-General of the NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, said that with the reforms introduced the NIS could now monitor better the data base and production of the passports and other documents.
He said that the Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Dambazau had set up a committee comprising relevant stakeholders to review the contracts and start the process of domesticating passport production.
The NIS boss said that about N13.3 billion was generated from local passport production through IRIS Smart Nig Ltd. in 2016, coupled with other revenues generated by other service providers and shared based on the sharing agreement in the contract which had been termed very lopsided in favour of the firms.
He, however, pledged to continue with the implementation of the reforms with a view to transforming the operations and service delivery of the NIS to the public. (NAN)