NIS: Senate gives committee one week to probe recruitment tragedy

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The Senate on Tuesday in Abuja ordered its Committee on Interior to investigate the nationwide recruitment exercise of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) that resulted in the death of 16 applicants.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee was given one week to submit its report.

The Senate also urged the Federal Government to come up with a “marshall plan’’ to address the unemployment problem in the country.

The Senate, while regretting the loss of lives and the several injuries sustained by applicants, mandated the committee to hold a public hearing on the issue within the one week ultimatum.

The mandate followed a “Point of Order’’ on “Matter of Urgent National Importance’’ raised by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Interior, Sen. Atiku Bagudu, at Tuesday’s plenary.

Bagudu observed that as a result of the cancellation of the exercise in 2013, the NIS contracted, Drexel Technical Global, a consulting firm, to provide an online platform for applicants.

The firm thereafter imposed a charge of N1, 000 per applicant.

“An attempt was made to conduct the recruitment exercise by the former Comptroller-General, Mrs Rosemary Uzoma, but was cancelled in 2013 because the conduct became controversial.

“The introduction of consultants and the charging of N1000 are new. 700,772 were said to have applied nationwide with 70,000 applicants registered for the Abuja test centre,’’ he said.

Bagudu said the public hearing was necessary so that Nigerians would follow the process that would eventually lead to any recommendation by the committee.

He said the motion did not pray for cancellation of the recruitment exercise because it did not want to pre-empt the outcome of the investigation in any way.

“We did not call for cancellation because we felt any investigation should not be judgmental.

“That is why we prayed that the Senate allows a public hearing to take place so that Nigerians will see the process which will lead to any recommendations that we may call for,” he said.

In his contribution, Sen. Sola Adeyeye (APC-Osun), urged the Senate to shun partisanship and come together to find a lasting solution to the problem of unemployment affecting the citizens.

“We must put our heads together to find a solution to the problem of unemployment. Our people must begin to put the fire under the feet of our leaders.

“If we don’t address this problem accordingly, a time will come when the youth may rise in revolution against us the leaders,’’ Adeyeye said.

The Deputy Senate Leader, Sen. Abdul Ningi, said the Senate must engage itself with taking actions that would engender the creation of jobs across the country.

 

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