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We’re suffering, our allowances haven’t been paid – Immigration officers on foreign missions

Officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) who are on mission in different countries abroad have lamented the non-payment of their allowances since December last…

Officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) who are on mission in different countries abroad have lamented the non-payment of their allowances since December last year.

The officers lamented their ordeal while speaking anonymously with Daily Trust.

One of the affected officers said the allowances of October and November 2023 were paid in March this year.

Outlining the allowances to include housing, health, utility among others, the officer said the situation has caused serious hardships, adding that some of them were already having challenges paying their rents.

The officer pointed out that payment of rents are monthly, unlike Nigeria which is yearly, and that the money they pay is from $2,000 and above.

Besides, the officer said they are with their families there, which is one of the requirements for going on foreign missions so that they can give their utmost commitment to their work.

He, however, said living with their families in foreign land has doubled their challenges.

“We are finding it difficult to cope with responsibilities such as feeding, education and the provision of necessary family necessities. Things are more expensive in many countries than in Nigeria,” an aggrieved officer said.

Another officer said more worrisome is the decision of the NIS to select two missions (countries) for payment while leaving others to their fate.

According to the officer, the lack of the allowances is really eroding the financial strength of the attachés and can bring embarrassment not only to them, but to the nation at large.

“The mission issues visas to desirous applicants who wish to enter Nigeria for different purposes professionally, thereby facilitating the government agenda of ease of doing business in Nigeria of which immigration service is one of the pivotal stakeholder.

“This is in addition to other bulk of investments the mission facilitates and has been facilitating so far. Again, it makes life much more easier for Nigerians in diaspora, particularly those wanting to renew their international passports and so on. We get this sorted out for them abroad, rather than them coming to Nigeria to get it done.

“Furthermore, the scrutiny and professional advice we offer Nigerians abroad and those foreigners wanting to come to Nigeria for business has gone a long way in putting things right and checking a lot of things that would have turned unpleasant.

“So, it is good to boost the missions and make sure that anything that will hinder it be done away with, and more embarrassing still it even should be unheard of that the challenge of the mission now is the non-payment of immigration officers allowances, and in the process exposing them to hardships and brewing embarrassment abroad,” the officer said.

The Public Relations Officer of NIS, Kenneth Udo, did not answer calls made repeatedly to his telephone line.

But responding to a text message sent by our correspondent, he said he was attending a retreat in Abuja and could not speak.

Daily Trust sought reaction from him but he didn’t get back to our correspondent.

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