Panic as Immigration plans to redeploy passport comptrollers, diplomatic attachés, others

Abeshi‘Airlines owe NIS $1.170m at MMIA’ 

UNEASY calm has pervaded among the ranks of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) as the new leadership is set to release the redeployment of all passport comptrollers and Immigration attachés in foreign countries this week as the last promotion and recruitment carried out by the immediate Comptroller-General of the Service has been revoked.

The Guardian learnt that a committee set up by the Comptroller-General (CG), Martin Abeshi, who is said to have given strict instructions that it should be discreetly and kept secret until it is formally released, finalised the redeployment at the Immigration Headquarters, Sauka, Abuja, last week. “The positions to be affected by the posting is in the Passport offices in all the states of the federation where there is so much going on there.

The new leadership would want to plant people they can trust, people that would be loyal to them, and not the current crop of officers who are loyal to the former Comptroller-General, David Parradang. “The first was the Immigration PRO, who has been taken to Lagos; the comptrollers and attachés are to follow to effect the desired purge and balance the system needs at this time.

Those that were behind the petition to the Federal Government to reverse the suspension of Parradang are already known, they are the ones that benefited most from the irregularities that saturated the system at that time, characterised by unwarranted promotions, favoritism and victimisation in some quarters”, the source said.

In another development, the Comptroller of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), MMIA Command, Mrs. Chizoba Dibi, has said that airlines operating at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, are indebted to the NIS, Airport Command, to the tune of $1.170 million within the first eight months of 2015.

Dibi, who stated that 3,102 Nigerians have been deported between January and August 2015 from various countries of the world for immigration offences, disclosed this to journalists in Lagos at the weekend.

The Comptroller, who regretted the impact of the massive debts of the airlines on the operations of the command, said all efforts to recover the debts had proved abortive.

There are no fewer than 30 commercial airlines that operate in and out of MMIA daily apart from numerous private aircraft that operate into and out of the terminal daily.

She recalled that the former Minister of Interior, Mr. Aba Moro in two letters with reference numbers IMM/MMA/167A/XLVIII dated February 19, 2013 and ABJ/HQ/OPS/2029/53 dated April 26, 2013 had conveyed approval of the command to withdraw passenger clearance from the then highest debtor of carrier liability to serve as deterrent to other airlines, hoping that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would give the same approval to the command for it to recover all debts owed it by recalcitrant airlines.

She, however, added that the Command had refused 353 Nigerians from departing the country while another 147 foreigners had been disallowed from gaining entry into the country.

The Comptroller further declared that 3,102 regular deportee-Nigerians were received within the year and that it also received 508 special deportees while five foreigners were deported by the Command within the period. “We, however, have challenges, which include inadequate space for our offices and even for passengers.

Also, the cooling systems and power supplies have been inconsistent over the years in this Command. We further require more funds for running the Command.”

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