The increase in annual residence permit for foreigners by Continental Transfert Technique Ltd (CONTEC) will be investigated by the Nigerian Senate as the lawmakers query the rise in the residence permit which increased from $1,000 to $2000.
CONTEC is in charge of payment collection due to its Private-Public Partnership with the Ministry of Interior, under which the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) is under. The decision to probe the increase was revealed by Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola.
He also said the Senate will probe the revenue sources of the immigration service. Adeola made the comment during a hearing on the 2021 to 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Plan (FSP), “We will take enough information and after the consideration of MTEF/FSP, the committee will come up with a proper investigation into the revenue sources of the NIS,” he said.
While commenting during the hearing, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, said, “We have more than 15 million immigrants in the country. As we speak, only less than 20 percent of them are captured. They are collecting money through the backdoor. We need to invite the minister of interior, the consultants, and the NIS,” he said.
Responding to query about the immigration office's revenue source, the Comptroller-General of NIS, Muhammad Babandede, said issuances of passport and visas, control and entry of persons in and out of the country are sources of its revenue
While addressing the public-private partnership revenue, Babandede said the immigration service isn't preventing CONTEC from conducting its duty, “All these revenues are generated under PPP which was signed before the coming of this administration, between the ministry of interior and technical partners.
"So the sharing formula of this PPP differs greatly; but in general terms, this revenue is accrued in favour of the technical partners and government itself,” he said, adding that, "And if there are cases where some NIS officers are blocking them, it is a good idea because CONTEC is not doing the country any good.
“Nobody should defend the company which took Nigeria to court and wanted to seize our property, including our mission and NNPC building. They took us to the United Kingdom Arbitration Court where we were forced to pay N8 billion. As far as we are concerned, this company has no value for Nigeria.
“The company increased the permit rate to 2,000 dollars and reviewed the sharing formula downward but the arrangement still favour them. Fifty-five percent of the 2,000 dollars is higher than the 72 percent of the 1,000 dollars they were collecting before.
“We have already petitioned the EFCC to explain our disapproval of the arbitrary fee hike. However, the Ministry of Justice is doing something about it because there is no justification for the increment.
“The Nigeria immigration service is already discussing with the ministry of justice for necessary advice on the legal implications of the upward review of the resident permit fee from 1, 000 to 2, 000 dollars. The ministry of justice is already looking at the modalities to pull out of the arrangement,” Babandede said.