Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, Muhammed Babandede, has disclosed how a company, Continental Transfert Technique Limited, CONTEC, contracted by the Federal Government is milking the country’s revenue ‘doing nothing’.
Babanded also revealed how the same firm sought to seize the building of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, at an arbitration court in the UK.
CONTEC, a member of the Contec Global group, is a technical partner to immigration on combined expatriate resident permit and alien card, CERPAC.
Babanded, while appearing before the joint Senate Committees on Finance and National Planning on Wednesday, said all the revenue generated by his organisation goes to the treasury single account, TSA, except that from the CERPAC, of which CONTEC takes a larger share before the remainder is deposited into the coffers of the Federal Government.
Saying “I don’t want to talk much,” Babandede told the committee that the company is taking a huge chunk of the revenue for “doing nothing.”
He said that the NIS could do the job CONTEC is contracted for at a cheaper rate, adding that this would in turn provide more revenue for the government.
He said, “The agreement they signed between the Ministry of Interior and the company, we are implementing…The agreement is that if someone, a non-Nigerian, buys a resident permit, the money is shared between CONTEC, and Interior. Initially, it (combined expatriate resident permit and alien card) was $1,000 and at that figure, CONTEC collects 72 percent.
“Later, the Ministry of Interior changed the price to $2,000 and adjusted the payment model – CONTEC, 55 percent; Federal Government, 33 percent; Immigration, 7 percent and Ministry of Interior, 5 percent. The agreement was first signed in 2007 and it was reviewed last year (2019).”
He added, “The truth of the matter is that it was signed on our behalf and we have to implement it. This job (issuing resident permit), we can do it. It is not rocket science. This has been on for many years. This is a company that took Nigeria to court, to arbitration; it is a huge issue. I don’t want to discuss more, because the Ministry of Justice and Mr President have taken it very seriously.
“If you see the amount the company is taking, you will be worried. There were several investigations by the Senate, by the House; there are reports available, if you want. I can get it for you or you can get it in the National Assembly.
“Nobody should defend CONTEC as a company to do business in Nigeria. This is a company that took us to court; this is a company that wanted to seize our property, including our mission and NNPC building.
“Two thousand dollars for resident permit? We can make that resident permit with $500; $1,500 can go to the Federal Government. We throw away the company, and government will make more money.”
Babanded however did not reveal how the country has been able to manage the situation thus far and at what time CONTEC approached the arbitration court.