NIGERIA Immigration Service (NIS) officials have drawn up a watchlist of about 3,964 individuals wanted for various offences whose details have been passed to all airports with instructions that they are to be arrested on sight.
According to the 2020 NIS annual report suspect index, 308 persons were placed on the watch list in 2019, 166 in 2020, while 51 persons were stop-listed in two years. With the list growing on a daily basis, 3,438 passports are also being watched by security agencies at all of the nation’s entry and exit points.
An NIS spokesman said: “Suspect index reviews and maintains the list of persons whose entry into Nigeria is prohibited or on whom special instructions are in place with respect to entry and departure from Nigeria. The travel documents are the instruments used to achieve this objective through synergy with other law enforcement agencies and court of competent jurisdiction.”
In a related development, the NIS has revoked 149,875 stolen or lost passports and uploaded them to Interpol’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database via the Web Services for Data Management platform. Also worrying is the fact that there are indications that the federal government may not meet its 2021 revenue projection from NIS services.
Immigration sources said the number of Italians, Britons, South Africans, Chinese, Indians, and other Asians, who constitute a large percentage of expatriates in the country, had reduced on account of travel restrictions imposed by their respective countries. Muhammad Babandede the NIS comptroller-general, said the service recorded a 40% revenue shortfall in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.