By Abdullateef Aliyu
Lagos — Statistics from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) indicated that the number of foreigners that come into the country is more than those that left the country within the last five years.
According to the 2017 annual report by NIS accessed on the website of the service yesterday, about 3.51 million foreigners arrived Nigeria compared to 3.24million that left the country from 2013 to 2017.
On the other hand about 8.28 million Nigerians travelled out while 7.69 million arrived the country within the period. There were 1,032,799 Passport Booklets Issued comprising 1,025,072 standard passports, 6,300 official passports and 1,472 diplomatic Passports.
A total of 3.72m International travellers crossed Nigerian Borders through five airports, 114 land borders and six seaports. The report also indicated that the service made a gross revenue of N35.7b from Passport fees, Residence permit Extension of Visitors Pass, ECOWAS/AA Address Verification and Non-Refundable Passport Admin charges while $27.3m was raked in from Visa and Passport fees At Foreign Missions. According to the report, Nigerian missions issued a total of 114,958 different classes of visas which was 14 per cent higher than 2016 figure of 100,795.
Analysis of the figure shows that the missions in United States of America, United Kingdom and China recorded the highest number of visas issued.
UK-London led with 15,304 followed by USA-Washington DC with 15,120 visas issued. China – Beijing had 14,314; South-Africa – Pretoria, 10,047; Johannesburg 5,346; Berlin – Germany 5,454; Paris-France 5,383; Stockholm- Sweden 3,711; The Hague – Netherlands 4,984; Berne- Switzerland 1,841; among others.
Also following the ease of doing business policy of the government, 22,620 visas on arrival were issued in 2017 compared to 12,437 issued in 2016 which is an indication of the high influx of foreigners into the country.
In terms of migration control and compliance, 284,400 refugees were received; 31,672 Nigerians refused departure; 18, 543 foreigners refused entry into Nigeria while 16, 387 Nigerians were deported from different countries across the globe. The report further stated that 4,735 Nigerian Returnees were profiled from across the globe; 2,646 foreigners were repatriated; 2,267 Nigerians refused admission abroad; 152 foreigners sought asylum in Nigeria with 113 granted.
Further analysis showed that there were 110 victims of human trafficking intercepted; 66 cases of stowaways recorded while four human traffickers were arrested.
In the year 2017, a total of 16,387 Nigerians were deported from different countries across the globe. Out of this number, 5,908 were returned from Libya of which 3,100 were males, while 2600 were females and 208 were minors. “In the same light, three thousand, eight hundred and thirty six (3,836) Nigerians were deported from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which comprised three hundred and ninety five (395) males, two thousand, three hundred and thirty one (2,331) females and one hundred and ten (110) minors. Deportees from other countries aside the aforementioned accounted for six thousand, six hundred and forty three (6,643) comprising three thousand, nine hundred and thirty nine (3,939) males and two thousand seven hundred and ninety four (2,794) females with South Africa, Austria and Italy being the top three countries with 189, 171 and 158 Nigerian Deportees,” the report said.