To monitor movements of foreigners in Nigeria, the Federal Government has commenced a new sanction regime against visitors who ‘overstay’ in the country without the necessary approval.
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 and made available to our correspondent, 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.
The document, which was obtained from the Ministry, indicated that a non-ECOWAS visitor who intended 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.
Besides, any non-ECOWAS visitor who intended 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.
However, it was gathered that several foreigners especially from China, Malaysia and Indonesia had been sanctioned by the government for violating the orders.