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NIS seeks improved working conditions, capacity enhancement

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has appealed to the Senate to approve improved conditions of service, competitive remuneration and regular promotion for personnel of the Service.

The Acting Comptroller-General of the NIS, Mrs Caroline Adepoju, made the appeal during an interactive meeting with the Senate Committee on Interior.

Adepoju said the NIS conditions of service were supposed to be at par with other sister agencies, especially with respect to remuneration.

She lamented the glaring disparity on what its personnel received compared to other sister agencies, which she said is discouraging and demoralising to staff in the discharge of their statutory responsibility.

Adepoju also decried the non-regular promotion status of its officers, noting that many of the personnel have stagnated on a particular grade level without promotion for many years.

She stressed the need to open up space for promotion and called for improved capacity of its personnel for effective discharge of their responsibility.

The Immigration boss also called for improved funding and logistics for the NIS to enable it to execute its mandate properly like the provision of E- gate.

According to her, there is a need to increase the number of personnel for adequate manning of the airports, sea, and land borders.

“Our conditions of service for NIS personnel; in terms of remuneration, we are expected to be at par with the Customs Service, Nigeria Police Force, but our remunerations are poor and cannot actually take us home.

“Our promotion is slow and because of this, people are demoralised; we need our promotion evaluative system and eligibility to be reviewed.

“We need to create vacancies to remove stagnation among the personnel of NIS.

“We need better office and residential accommodations both in our states and border security. We need logistics to aid our border management, both land, air, and the sea.”

Despite these challenges, she noted that the Service under her leadership has almost cleared the backlog of passports.

Adepoju added that the management is also poised to and committed to improving its service delivery mandate in line with the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

Our promotion is slow and because of this, people are demoralised; we need our promotion evaluative system and eligibility to be reviewed. We need to create vacancies to remove stagnation among the personnel of NIS.

Historical challenges

Ja’afar Mohammed, the Secretary, Board of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Nigeria Correctional Services, and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, corroborated Adepoju’s submission.

He explained that the Board has had historical challenges and has existed on an ad-hoc basis.

The Secretary said that the Board does not have a comprehensive record of employees of the NIS to generate eligibility status on issues relating to promotion and retirement.

According to him, the board relies on the agencies to get the records.

He, however, said the board since its inception had taken far reaching decisions on repositioning the agency, adding that it would work with the committee to achieve more successes.

“We want to work with the committee to establish the board as an independent body; the board is now repositioned to function accordingly.”

Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Adams Oshiomhole, said the interaction which was at the instance of the committee was to have first-hand information and overview on the challenges faced by the service.

This, he said, is to enable the committee to intervene, support and evolve measures on how best to solve the issues.

Oshiomhole said that the Service faces a lot of challenges, adding that the committee would look at the issues and would be guided by the laws to discharge its responsibilities for the good of Nigerians.

“The whole idea is not to wallow in lamentations but to solve the challenges and improve services to Nigerians.”

Members of the committee at the meeting took turns to ask questions on issues relating to delayed issuance of passports to Nigerians, illegal immigrants in Nigerians and internal revenue generating profile and remittance of the NIS. (NAN)

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