Senate C’ttee Queries Nigeria Immigration over Fraudulent Spending of N62m

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  •  Another begins screening of 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees

 Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

The Senate Committee on Interior tuesday queried the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) over alleged frivolous and reckless spending of N62 million on a mere inspection tour of projects in 2016.

 The committee which accused the service of reckless spending of 2016 budget, condemned the squandering of N62 million on mere project monitoring at the time the country is facing economic recession.

 All members of the committee headed by Senator George Sekibo were visibly angry after the presentation made by the Comptroller General of Immigration, Mr. Babandede Mohammed, on 2016 budget performance as they also uncovered loopholes in other areas of spending by NIS in 2016.

The comptroller-general had in his submission, said the service needed about 200 vehicles, for its operations and surveillance adding that it embarked on routine project monitoring to ascertain the progress of the projects.

But the senators observed that the project monitoring which NIS claimed gulped N62 million was unjustifiable and smacked of extragance on the part of the body.

The senators also observed that almost all capital projects contained in 2016 budget of NIS which they said had been funded were repeated in 2017 budget. They particularly queried the demand for the purchase of 200 vehicles by NIS in 2017.

The senators also uncovered fraudulent duplication of items in the budget. For instance, Senator Chukwuka Utazi said:“I have just pointed out four items that have repeatedly appeared in the 2017 budget.”

In his remarks, Sekibo advised the comptroller-general to use the 2017 budget allocation judiciously. He also charged them to address the challenge of porous borders facing the country.

Also yesterday, the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs began the screening of 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees whose names were sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.

During the screening, one of the nominees and a former Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Mr. Baba Ahmed Jida, said challenges faced by envoys range from language barrier and unfamiliar policies of different countries.

Another nominee, Justice George Oguntade (rtd.), promised to use his office to attract investors to Nigeria as he cautioned against extravagant spending by Nigerians but should rather invest in agriculture and manufacturing firms.

Those screened yesterday were Mr. Goni Modu Zanna Bura, Yobe ; Yusuf Maitama – Bauchi ; Ahmed Ibeto, Niger ; Hon Kabiru Umah, Sokoto ; Dr (Hon) Etubom Nya E. Asuquo, Cross River ;Baba Ahmed Jida, Borono ;Alhaji Garba Gajam,and Capt Baba Mohammed Mairiga, Zamfara ; Christopher J. N. Okeke, Anambra ;Mr Jonah M. Odo, Ebonyi ;Ahmed Nuhu Bamali Kaduna among others.