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Minister worries over “significant” disparity in expatriate quota, CERPAC

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Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo has expressed concern over the significant disparity between the number of expatriate quota and CERPAC issued by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).

He said this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja by the Director of Press and Public Relations of the Ministry, Mr Ozoya Imohimi.

Tunji-Ojo noted with concern that the number of Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card (CERPAC) issued annually was just 50,000, far lower than the 300,000 target.

The minister said during a meeting with CONTEC, the technology firm driving the project, that the situation must change.

“The disparity in CERPAC issuance and expatriate quotas is a pressing concern that demands our immediate attention.

“We must address this issue to safeguard national security and optimise revenue generation.

“Embracing technology and redesigning our workflow processes are crucial steps towards enhancing efficiency, curbing waste, and combating corruption in the issuance of CERPAC,” he added.

He therefore said that knowledge transfer was essential for long-term sustainability and success in that regard.

“I am committed to ensuring that the NIS has the necessary capacity and resources to manage the CERPAC project effectively,” the minister added.

Tunji-Ojo said that the approximately 50,000 CERPAC cards issued annually were grossly inadequate.

The minister said the significant disparity between the expatriate quotas and CERPAC cards issued, has made it imperative to empower the Investigation and Compliance department of NIS to prevent revenue losses.

He also expressed dissatisfaction with the current paper-based system and limited production of the CERPAC cards annually, compared to the initial target of 300,000 set in 1998.

Tunji-Ojo said it was important to embrace technology to enhance compliance and increase revenue.

He said the ministry remained committed to pursing strategic partnerships to ensure that all processes align with modern standards, to safeguard Nigeria’s interest.

Earlier, CONTEC expressed commitment to collaborate with the ministry to enhance efficiency and maximise revenue generation for the government.

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