Senate Summon AGs, Minister, 4 Companies Over E-Passport Deals

Senate Summon AGs, Minister, 4 Companies Over E-Passport Deals
  • PublishedMarch 25, 2017

The Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Alleged Misuse, Under Remittance, and Other Fraudulent Activities in the Collection, Remittance and Expenditure of Internally Generated Revenue by MDAs has invited the Attorney General, the  Accountant General of the Federation, the Minister of Interior and four private companies to appear before it on 6th April, 2017 to shed light on multi billion naira E-Passport production and other immigration related issues that the companies performs on behalf of Nigeria Immigration Service(NIS) in a public private partnership(PPP)  arrangement over the years.

The companies, Contec Nigeria Ltd, Greater Washington Nigeria Ltd, Newwork Solution and Investment Ltd and Iris Smart Technologies working on E-passport production, Expatriate Residence Permit and Alien Card and related immigration issues all had contractual agreements to perform some revenue generating service on behalf of the Nigerian Immigration Service with the company withholding a hefty percentage of revenue that would have accrued to the Federal Government.

At a sitting of the Committee, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West) the chairman of the committee invited the various public officials and corporate organizations following the presentation made by the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service Mr. Mohammed Babandede on the revenue profile of the service and how various revenue generated, running into billions in naira and dollars, were shared by the companies, NIS and the Federal Government.

The chairman of the Ad Hoc committee confirmed from the CG of Immigration Mr. Babandede that the NIS at this point can now undertake the services provided by these companies as a way of increasing revenue accruing to the government.

“I am at loss why huge part of revenue generated by NIS continued to be paid to private firms in the name of PPP that should actually be based on Build Operate and Transfer(BOT). We cannot be denying Nigerian people of benefits that would accrue to them through increase revenue to government coffers instead of 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” Senator Adeola stated.

Earlier in his presentation the CG of Immigration disclosed that the reasons for entering PPP arrangement at the time the government did was attributed to inadequate funding and late release of budgeted sums, multiple acquisition of travel documents and poor revenue generation adding that private partners provide all the funding while money realized in course of issuing facilities is shared with government in order to allow private partners recoup their investment.

Mr. Babandede said that for the period of investigation by the Senate between 2012 -2016 total remittance to Federal Government stood at over N17 billion and over $112million adding that “revenue accruing  to government has increased almost a hundred fold since the introduction of these(PPP) agreements”.

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