Federal goverment has introduced a fine of $200 and $4000 dollars on visitors to Nigeria who overstayed their time as permitted by their visas. This a bid to monitor movements of foreigners in Nigeria.
The sanction, which depends on the number of days such a foreigner overstayed in the country, ranges from $200 (N72,000) to $4000 (N.18m), depending on the number of days such a foreigner stayed in Nigeria.
A document signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior indicated “that a foreigner would be adjudged to have overstayed in the country once such exceeded 56 days”.
“However, the sanction does not apply to citizens of Economy Community of West African States (ECOWAS) who can enter Nigeria and reside in the country without entry visas”.
” But a non-ECOWAS visitor who intend to stay in Nigeria for a period exceeding 56 days, but not beyond 90 days aggregate would be sanctioned with a few of $200 or the naira equivalent”.
” For a non-EWCOWAS visitor who stayed in Nigeria beyond 90 days, but not exceeding 180 days aggregate would be sanctioned with the sum of $1000 or its naira equivalent”.
” Any non-ECOWAS visitor who intend to stay in Nigeria or who stayed for a period exceeding 180 days, but not beyond 365 days aggregate in the country would pay to the government the sum of $2000 or its equivalent.
“Also, any non-ECOWAS visitor who overstayed in the country without authorization or regularization would, in addition pay penalty equivalent of $4000”.
At the international airports nationwide, government has given the collection of the fines to a private firm, CONTEC Services, which collects the charges on behalf of the Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS).
The ministry source said: “The Federal Government had to introduce this new regime in order to checkmate foreigner in this era of terrorism.
“However, in order to prevent corruption or leakages in the system, the government gave out the concession to a firm, CONTEC Service, who liaise with officials of Immigration 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.”