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Outcry over Nigerian Immigration’s new postings

By Austin Johnson

The recent posting of senior officers by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) headquarters is generating an outcry and controversies, according to Peoples Times investigation reveals.

In a memo dated 22nd February, 2017 and signed by an Assistant Comptroller-General, Raymond T. A Jaja, on behalf of the CGI Muhammad Babandede, entitled, ‘senior staff posting order’ which Peoples Times was able to lay hand on. The current exercise involved the redeployment of 265 senior officers to various states of the federation.

One of the reasons for the dissatisfaction by some of the staff is the inclusion of some married women officers in the posting, which runs contrary to civil service labour rules of engagement and perceived victimization.

It would be recalled that some weeks ago, an earlier posting was done by the service which included junior and senior officers’ cadre. A staff of service who spoke with Peoples Times on condition of anonymity disclosed that many were caught unaware over the latest posting.

In his words, “How can you tell a senior officer to go on redeployment without making adequate arrangement for their allowances and salary for the month? Many of us are family men and how are we going to do with our families?”

A rundown of the postings, as alleged by some officers, showed some element of victimization, saying, “The service is out to deal with certain people from s section of the country.”

A staff of the Nigerians Immigration Service queried, “How would our Ogas’ explain to us why they transfer most senior officers out of headquarters? Watch out, very soon some staff from a particular section of the country would be relocated to the headquarters or promoted on the pretend that the headquarters is lacking senior staff.”

People Times gathered that heads may roll at the immigration service over the release of the senior staff posting list that is generating serious controversies. It is been said that the Comptroller general has queried the officer who released the posting list, that he did not seek final clarification before releasing it. Some staff belief that the Comptroller General is a gentle man who would not have authorized such list.  They alleged that it is the activities of some overzealous senior staff to embarrass the Nigeria immigration service.

In another development, however, some staff of the service are alleging that the current Comptroller General Babandede has no experience to manage a sensitive organization such as the NIS. They also alleged that he has never been head of any command in the service and had never gone to National Institute of Policy and strategic studies (NIPSS).

The NIS is one of paramilitary organisations in the Federal Ministry of Interior that had in the past experienced issues leading to sacking and redeployment of officers and eventual sacking of its Comptroller General by President Muhammadu Buhari.

On assumption to office, Babandede promised to sanitize the service for better operations. The question being asked by some of the staff is whether this is part of sanitization and, if yes why is it starting in such a lopsided manner?

However, in another development, NIS Service Public Relations Officer, ACI Sunday James in a disclaimer notice cautioned the public to be weary of such tactics.

According to the NIS image maker; “The attention of the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, CGI Muhammad Babandede, MFR, has been drawn to the existence of several Facebook accounts bearing his name and photograph purportedly being operated by him”.

However, the twitter of the Nigerian Immigration Service said they “wish to inform the general public that the NIS management operates an open-door policy and that anyone who wishes to access facilities or make any enquiries at the NIS can go to the nearest NIS formation…” This is in connection to the various Job scam challenges facing the service.

The NIS is yet to react to the allegations.

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