- Illegal Immigrants to Pay $4,000 in Nigeria
The Federal Government has announced a new sanction to discourage illegal immigrants from staying in the country.
A source in the Ministry of Interior said the fee to be paid depends on the number of days the immigrants have overstayed, however, they would have to pay between $200 and $4,000.
The source further said the immigrants would have exceeded their stay by 56 days before they could be said to have overstayed.
According to the ministry, citizens of the Economy Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are exempted from the newly introduced sanction as they are visa-free and can reside in the country without visas.
However, non-ECOWAS visitors who wished to stay in the country for more than the stipulated 56 days but not beyond 90 days would have to pay $200 or the equivalent in Naira, while those who stayed more than 90 days but less than 180 days would pay $1000 or its naira equivalent.
Similarly, non-ECOWAS visitors who overstayed for more than 180 days, but not more than 365 days would pay $2000 or the naira equivalent and those who entered and stayed in the country without authorisation would pay a fine of $4,000.
The ministry said the new system was introduced to check immigrants who abuse visas given to them.
“It was discovered that some of them intentionally overstay in Nigeria without regularising their papers. The government will not agree with this and will do everything possible to stop such abuse.”
“However, in order to prevent corruption or leakage in the system, the government gave out the concession to a firm that will work with officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service at various points for the remittance of the sanction fee.”
“What the concessionaire does is that it issues them a sanction ticket, which the visitor pays to a particular bank. So far, the regime is free of any corrupt practices and our men at various stations are cooperating with the officials.”