Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede

The Nigeria Immigration Service NIS has prevented a total of 58 Nigerian medical doctors from travelling to the United Kingdom. The doctors attempted to board an aircraft with registration number ENT 550.

Public Relations Officer of the NIS, Sunday James in a statement Friday, disclosed that 56 out of the 58 doctors had no valid visas for entry into the UK while only two of them had.

The statement reads in part: “The 58 medical doctors were refused departure in line with Section 31 (2a) and (2b) of the NIS Act 2015, which deal on powers conferred on the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service by the Immigration to prohibit departure of any person under the conditions stated in the Act.

“The chartered flight approved for landing in Nigeria was to carry 42 medical doctors for a training program but they were 58 with only two having visas for entry into UK, a situation that calls for refusal of departure.

“The Nigeria Immigration Service as the agency saddled with control of entry and departure from Nigeria of persons will not allow individuals or groups of well-educated Nigerians who should know the procedures for travelling out of their country and the requirements, which include having a valid visa for entry into a destination country to leave.

“This is to avoid refusal of entry and repatriation back to Nigeria amidst COVID-19 pandemic and spreading of same as well as flouting the Federal Government’s directive on restriction of international flights unless for essential reason as approved by government.               

“There is no official communication to the Service from the Ministry of Health in Nigeria or any known medical body notifying the NIS of the travel of this number of medical doctors. The aircraft has departed for London without the medical doctors.                 

“The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, is taking this opportunity to advise Nigerians to always adhere to travel protocols and ensure they have valid passports with valid visa to the country they intended travelling to before going to any airport, seaport or land border control to avoid refusal to depart.”