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NIS stamped: 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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