The Senate Committee on Finance has invited the Auditor General of the Federation, Mr. Aghughu Arhotomhenia, to appear before it next Tuesday to explain reasons it had not given guidelines for the auditing of the accounts of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) since 2017 despite repeated letters from the NIS to provide the guidelines.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Solomon Adeola gave the directive when the Controller General of Immigration, Mr. Mohammed Babandede, appeared before the committee’s investigation of remittances of internally generated revenue(IGR) and one per cent Stamp Duty on all contracts by MDAs into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
In the course of the investigative hearing, Chairman, Fiscal Responsibility Commission ( FRC), Victor Muruako had disclosed to the committee that his agency had not received the audited accounts of NIS since 2017 contrary to the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 among other infractions.
Immigration boss, Babandede said there were no guidelines from Auditor General’s Office despite repeated official requests from the NIS adding that the unaudited accounts over the years had just been launched by the Minister of Interior.
The Immigration boss further disclosed that the revenue generating operations of the agency is under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement that he inherited with a sharing formula agreement that cannot be readily renegotiated or cancelled in the foreseeable future. He said this leaves ing the agency to remit only about 20 per cent of revenue generated to the Federal Government.
Senator Adeola directed the Immigration boss to furnish the committee with a comprehensive account of its revenue and the sharing in specific terms as well as details of the partners in the PPP deal as the committee intends to interact with the partners in presence of the Immigration.
“There is need to seriously interrogate the PPP arrangement and its duration as it seems to be an unending denial of needed revenue for Nigeria. A situation where partners collect 70 per cent leaving Immigration and Federal Government to share 30 per cent over unending period of time is looking more like a Pick Pocket Partnership arrangement for Nigeria that should be remedied,” he said.
He said with the experience of Nigeria on PPP arrangement on the issue of passport and other immigration documents, there is need for the National Assembly to come up with legislation to guide and regulate such partnerships as the present ad hoc system is shortchanging the Federal Government.