The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has advised visitors staying in the country to take advantage of the e-migrant policy to register their status, as it will commence deportation process when the grace period expires.
The Federal Government will not hesitate to eject anyone found culpable after the amnesty granted by the President ends in January 2020, the NIS said.
The Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, stated this during an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast programme.
“Any person who is not a citizen of Nigeria must register under the amnesty programme,” he said on Monday via Skype on Sunrise Daily.
The Immigration boss warned, “After the amnesty programme, any person who enters this territory and stays for a period of 90 days, there is a penalty for him for not registering and there is a penalty for the person who provides accommodation for him.”
“Before you provide accommodation for a non-Nigerian, you must ensure he or she has registered. This amnesty, once it ends, will also remove and arrest any person who has not registered. So we are prepared to remove any person who has not registered from this country after the amnesty,” he added.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari saw the significance of having correct data of citizens and visitors in the country.
He explained that having correct data and knowing those staying in Nigeria would help the government in making good policies to improve the nation’s economy and tackle its security challenges among others.
“That’s why he (Buhari) gave an amnesty when he launched the e-Migrant Policy on the 12th of July and will expire on the 11th of January, 2020,” the NIS Comptroller-General noted.
He added, “This registration has started and was flagged off in Abuja and surprisingly, almost 35% of those who registered were staying irregularly. So when they register, we direct them to become normal if they are qualified to become normalised”.
“All persons are expected to register if they enter Nigeria and stay for a period exceeding 90 days. It is biometric and we are also capturing the picture of the said individual”.
“We are linking the registration with NIMC gradually which means one identity for Nigerian, one identity for our visitors.”
The Immigration boss stated that the Service would partner with other law enforcement agencies to remove unregistered persons by the end of the programme next year.
According to him, what Nigerians are doing abroad is connected with identity issue and every person staying in Nigeria will have one identification number.