The Nigeria Immigration Service yesterday raised the alarm that there was no funds to offset the wages of new recruits this year and said that it needed additional N4 billion to pay their salaries and allowances.
The comptroller-general of immigration, Mr David Parradang, made these startling revelations on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Interior to defend its 2014 budget.
According to him, since there was no budgetary provision for the new recruits in this year’s budget, it’s unrealistic to commence the recruitment of 4, 000 new officers
“We started the process of reconciliation when the board announced we got the approval to recruit 4, 000 and above, but there was no budgetary provisions for funding of that process”, Parradang said.
The immigration boss added that “If we recruit the people, there will be no salaries for them; so we have approached the Budget Office. They said it was late and that it cannot make available that amount of money and we calculated that; but N4bn would be able to pay those officers that are expected to be recruited for the year 2014”.
Parradang also blamed the influx of illegal immigrants into the country on the nature of the country’s borders, which he said are porous.
He said: “Distinguished senators, you would have gone round one or two of our borders and, at best, they are open fields — there is no form of control that can be said to be effective because most of them are open.
“It is not right for us to leave them that way because a lot of illegal immigrants can come in and a lot of arms can be moved in, and we have complained severally that there are many unmanned routes, illegal crossings, that no control post had been stationed in these areas and the more we keep them open without providing effective security in those areas, the more exposed the country is to security challenges. So we felt that the budget should look squarely at these areas of border issues.
“We need plazas in some key areas of the border and what we have for border patrol here cannot even build a boys’ quarter in some areas. We feel that the issue of plaza should be put back in the front burner. We need to look at our key entry points in our north-east, north-central, and north-west and some south-south areas.
“We should look at bringing back plazas in those areas in an integrated manner that will be able to have censors or radars that can pick movements across. It is not too much to invest in security. If the first line is broken, then, we cannot be able to provide security”.