Comptroller General of Service, Mrs. Rose Chinyere Uzoma
By Senator Iroegbu
The controversy trailing the alleged “secret” recruitment by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Tuesday climaxed with the compulsory retirement of the Comptroller General of Service, Mrs. Rose Chinyere Uzoma.
The news of her retirement was conveyed in a letter signed by the Director/Secretary, Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board (CDFIPB), Dr. R. K. Attahiru, on behalf of the Minister of Interior and Chairman of CDFIPB, Comrade Abba Moro.
Uzoma is to be replaced by the most senior Deputy Comptroller General of Immigration, Mr. Rilwan Bala Musa, who will act pending the appointment of a substantive Comptroller General.
Part of the letter read: “I am directed to convey the approval of the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, for you (Mrs. Rose Chinyere Uzoma) to proceed on your pre retirement accumulated leave.
“I am to further convey that you are to hand over the duties and responsibilities of your office on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 to the most senior Deputy Comptroller General of Immigration in the person of Rilwan Bala Muss, who will act as Comptroller General of Immigration pending the appointment of a substantive CG of Immigration.”
“On behalf of the Hon. Minister of Interior and all members of the board, I wish to thank you for your service to Nigeria. The board wishes you good luck in your future endeavour.”
The unexpected pre-retirement leave to be embarked by Uzoma who is expected to retire by end of March, 2013 was heralded by accusations and counter-accusations of illegal recruitment in the Immigration Service.
The NIS boss had been under the spotlight since some legislators and senior staff of the service accused her of secretly recruiting people, especially from the South-east and South-south geopolitical zones.
This prompted Moro, through his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. George Udoh, to immediately issue a statement cancelling the alleged recruitment going on at the NIS.
However, Uzoma in a counter-reaction, denied the existence of any recruitment exercise, saying; “you (minister) can’t cancel non-existent jobs.”
NIS also provided a state-by-state and region-by-region breakdown of the origin of personnel of the agency in response to accusations by some aggrieved officials and legislators that it was done to favour the South-east where the immigration boss hails from.
The records made available to the journalists showed that contrary to the accusations, the highest beneficiaries came from the North-central with 22 per cent of the 23,316 staff, while the North-west and South-south came second with 18 per cent respectively.
The South-east, the records showed came with 15 per cent, South-west 14 per cent and North-east with 13 per cent.
These reactions and counter-reactions between the Comptroller-General and the minister aided to bring to the open an alleged cold-war between the two over some issues ranging from administrative interference to posting of Comptrollers to various missions both foreign and local.