Some officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) under the auspices of Progress Officers (PO) have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over allegation of massive corruption in the service.
The petition, dated July 13, 2018, signed by Abdulateef Muhammed and made available to SaharaReporters, accused the current management led by Muhammed Babandede of condoning corruption in the system.
The petition, with the head: ‘Open Letter to Mr. President', purported that billions of dollars were being swept under the carpet by the current management, stressing that this was hindering development in the country.
According to the petition, NIS extorts expatriates coming into the country.
The petition alleged that NIS lacked appropriate expatriate interview system, and as such only grants one month pass to expatriates irrespective of their purpose of visit to the country.
It added that whoever exceeded the one month is charged additional $300 while those who require extensions are charged another $2000.
The petitioners, however, said that the additional $300 and $2,000 charged expatriates are diverted into private pockets in the system, saying “none of this can be traced to any governmental account" and adding that "this act has been going on for years in the service and should not be allowed to continue".
The petition further decried the non-printing of resident permit in Nigeria, rather by a foreign firm, Cerpic, purporting that the past Comptrollers-General of NIS and their deputies are directors in the company while the contract sum is equally paid in dollars.
The petition added: “Sir, in this era of terrorism; we believe allowing such sensitive documents to be handled by foreigners who have little or nothing to lose is a tough thing to swallow; not to talk about the fluctuation of dollars, which in fact gives room for siphoning of money because at it is, it is very difficult to determine how much the government should be expecting from such services.
“Also, Nigerian international passport is also produced by foreigners and the Nigerian Immigration Service charges additional ₦2,800 as shipping charge; of which not a single person has ever received his passport on such grounds, neither does the government have any record of such funds.”
The petitioners prayed for probes into the activities of NIS in the past two years, and asked the governmtn to sensure the production of resident permits and international passports in the country, handled by the Nigerian Printing and Minting.
They also requested that officers due for promotion should be appropriately promoted with or without financial benefits, in order to maintain proper discipline in the service.
“It is unheard of for senior officers to give compliments to their junior ones just because they found favour with the authority. Sir, a frustrated armed officer could be more dangerous than Boko Haram,” the petition added.
The Service Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Sunday James, could not be reached for comments as he did not respond to the phone calls to his mobile line while a text to the same number was not responded to.