The federal government has directed the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), to with immediate effect, put an end to the payment of fines by Nigerians holding dual citizenship at the nation’s International Airports. The minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), who gave the directive in a statement signed by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. Mohammed Bello Umar , yesterday in Abuja, said that the directive is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to make movement easy for Nigerians with dual citizenship to come into their father-land unhindered.
According to him, “as a new government policy, on no account should any Nigerian traveller holding dual citizenship pay fine for so-called overstay”.
LEADERSHIP Friday findings revealed that prior to this directive, the penalty translated to a very costly state of affairs for the unsuspecting Nigerians with dual citizenship. Where a temporary visa is extended beyond 90 days for example but the overstayer remains in Nigeria for over 180 days, he will be lumbered with $1000 extension fee together with a $1000 fine.
Dambazau restated that it was a crime to ask or pay any money in that regard and stressed that under the new policy, “citizens with dual nationality should only present both travelling documents of their countries of nationality to the immigration officials upon arrival and departure, regardless of whichever they are using to travel”. Gen. Dambazau emphasised that the Nigeria Immigration Service, must ensure immediate compliance with the new government directives as government would sanction any immigration official who is found collecting such fines henceforth.
The minister further directed that henceforth, Nigerians with dual citizenship should report any immigration official who imposes such charges on them to the appropriate authorities.
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