By ALUKO OYEBODE S.I
The set of Assistant Superintendents of Immigration (ASI) that were recruited into the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) at about the same time as the Immediate-past Comptroller General of Immigration Service (CGIS) should not (under normal/proper circumstances) have more than a period of at most three (3) months left in government service: that is, either by reason of age (60 years) or length of service (35 years). The same fact goes for all those that transferred their service into the NIS who are now of the rank of Comptroller (CIS) and above.
Any of those referred to in paragraph 1 above that still claims to have more than one year (1) in government service must have their first degree certificates properly scrutinized. The fact here is that no university graduate of the seventies (1970s), which these set of very senior officers are, could not have been younger than twenty seven (27) years of age as at then. This translates into their being at least fifty nine (59) years old now. Secondly, if these very senior officers still claim otherwise, then their true ages could be very safely and accurately determined by cross-checking with the dates of their first degree/certificate. If their doctored ages show that they graduated at the age of seventeen (17) to twenty one (21), then they should have appeared in the Guinness Book of Records of the 1970s! For example a female officer Mrs. Ddel (‘CIS) Enugu State Command joined the service in 1988 as a “Supt and was pulled out of the ‘NIS’ on October 4th 2011. Whereas those she met in the service as ‘ACI’s and above are still tight claiming to have upwards of two to six years or more to go in Government service!
Certificates (birth and educational) of all Immigration officers should urgently be re-scrutinized by an independent body as the recent case in the NSCDC. THERE ARE TOO MANY FAKE CERTIFICATES HOLDERS IN THE ‘NIS’.
Furthermore, most of the present crop of very senior NIS officers (that is, from the rank of Comptroller and above) were already Assistant Comptrollers of Immigration (ACI) in their thirties as far back as the middle 1980s. Also, this same set of very senior officers has continued to monopolize the management cadre since the 1980s! For example, as ACIs they were in-charge of state commands as far back as the 1980s.
Furthermore, some of them have been on the rank of ‘ACG’ since nineteen eighty four (1984) while others enjoyed the rank of Comptroller for more than ten (10) years until the last infamous promotion that took them to the rank of ‘ACG’. Worse still they have always been championing the very infamous and inglorious Service Policy of Promotion is not a right but a Privilege. Hence their complete nonchalance and insensitivity to the extremely long stagnation and sufferings of those they have continued to emasculate for their own selfish reasons. Again, every promotion they secured since then has always resulted in them carrying over their schedules along with them to their next rank. A case in point is the fact that they have continued to monopolise foreign assignments solely designed / fitted for the ranks of ACI and below. This easily translates/confirms the fact that they have never believed in building the capacity of their subordinates and ipso facto the NIS. Consequently, ASI’s from the mid-1980s have remained stagnated, enjoying only two (2) or at most three (3) promotions in twenty (20) to twenty five (25) years of service! The same evil trend has begun to follow the ‘AS’I /2s recruited in 2006. They are still wearing one star when their counterparts in the Nigerian Police are already wearing three stars!
Now there is an open rumour going round that ‘NIS” top brass is in top gear to secure Presidential approval for the recruitment of ‘TRANSFEREES’ from the rank of ‘CS’I and above into the service. This is despite the fact that there is an over abundance of first class officers in the service capable of filling these positions from the class of mid 1980’s ‘AS’I who have been long punished with stagnation mainly occasioned by the same recruitment of transferees into the service in the nineteen eighties.
It is for these reasons that any patriotic consideration for selecting the next CGIS should of necessity exclude this category of very senior officers – in the interest of national security and rejuvenation of the NIS to be properly positioned to face the challenges of the millennium. Any choice of a new CGIS from these expired and deeply self-serving senior officers will be nothing short of counter-productivity, to say the least!
Regrettably enough, the fears expressed in paragraph 4 above has begun to appear since the appointment of the current CGIS. For example, one of the very first postings brought back one (CIS) as being in charge of Finance/Salary and the Tenders Board. This was the same senior officer who transferred his service into NIS when he was to be disciplined/flushed out of another government agency. This was the same officer who presided over the salaries of the NIS during the very infamous tenure of the Late CGIS Mrs. Nwizu.
During these times officers suffered greatly as the pathetic joke then was that “one month equals ninety (90) days” among several other shenanigans. This was the same officer who very questionably escaped the conversion/retirement exercise of 2005 with his very controversial MBA (Executive) and open blackmail of the then powers that be! Now this same man is back at the NIS HQ Abuja to do what? Now stationeries are very scarce items in the stores among other things.
Recruitment into the Service since the year two thousand (2000) has consistently brought in candidates who are sponsored by political and social big-wigs with very questionable characters. Thus influence peddling is at its peak coupled with this fact that blatant and extremely reckless favoritism has resulted in the promotion of several junior officers and men over their superiors. With this type of situation it is currently extremely impossible to instill discipline in the centre. Discipline is at its lowest level in the service. When one considers the obvious fact that the ‘NI’S PERSONNEL ARE STATUTORILY EMPOWERED TO CARRY AND USE FIREARMS THE IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR NATIONAL
SECURITY IS VERY DAUNTING. It is for this reason that the choice of a new ‘CG’ should truly ensure that such a person has a true love and aptitude for national security and regimental-sim among other sterling qualities that behooves that highly exalted office in the face of our current battles against terrorism.
Without any doubt the NIS is extremely long over-due for a complete and deeply inclusive overhaul if we truly value our national security.