Saturday, January 28, 2012

Na Wa!!!!!! N7b missing from immigration's acct - Comptroller General

Members of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Interior were stunned yesterday by the confession of the Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mrs. Rose Uzoma, on how in 2011, N10.3 billion was generated by the body, but N3.4 billion was remitted to the federation account.

The Immigration boss could not provide satisfactory answer to the two committees when she was asked how the balance of N7 billion was expended.

Appearing before the committee to defend the 2012 fiscal budget, the Immigration boss explained that the revenue generated comprises of N8,192,717,842.77 and off-shore earnings of $13,378,206 (N2,140,512,320).

This is just as the Interior Minister, Mr. Abba Moro, announced that despite the presidential broadcast of reducing federal overheads and ministers’ salaries by 10 and 25 per cent respectively, no circular to such directive has been issued.

Speaking on the issuance of passports, the Immigration Comptroller-General put a unit production cost of Nigerian International Passport booklet at N4,900, but sold to the citizens at N8,750 leaving a profit margin of N3,850 out of which N1,250 is paid as technology fees to “e-revenue collection partners”.

"The remaining N2,600 was the remittance made to the federation account, while in the year ending 2011, a total of 722,327 Nigerian International Passports were issued," she disclosed.

Apparently dissatisfied with her presentation, the panel co-chairmen, Senator Atiku Bagudu and Umar Bature from the House of Representatives called for “comprehensive analysis of the construction of passports in Nigeria and every cost embedded in the gross earnings and report back on Monday.

Also defending its ministry's budget before the committee, Moro bemoaned the transfer of certain government agencies which he described as the hub of internal security to another ministry, noting that the transfer made it difficult for them to operate satisfactorily.

He informed the joint committee that although the Federal Government was studying the situation, he lamented that the removal of Police Affairs and Customs Service from the Interior Ministry had limited their internal security assignment.

He, therefore, canvassed for adequate funding to enable them procure certain instruments that would enhance border surveillance and further stressed: “At the moment, there are no defined border spots such as plaza or posts to determine immigration and emigration of persons and goods from the country."

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