- Operatives of the Nigerian Immigration Service recently raided a construction site somewhere in Niger state in search of illegal migrants
- Some of the suspects were said to have fled during the raid while others were held under custody as they risk deportation
- The Chinese construction is reported to handling a multi-million dollar project in Niger state-approved by the federal government
At least 200 Chinese people have been arrested by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in Niger State for overstaying their visa time.
Legit.ng gathered that the Nigerian Immigration Service had issued them six months visas which had already expired and it was discovered that they had been in the country for over two years.
During the raid on Thursday, March 10, by officials of NIS, it was gathered that some of the Chinese workers at the construction site took to their heels as they fled into nearby bushes.
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The incident was said to have caused an uproar within the host community as residents scampered for safety.
The construction company known as Sinohydro is said to be in charge of the $1.3 billion Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Project awarded by the federal government.
The project seeks to improve the national grid by 700 megawatts, a feat that will see it become Nigeria’s second-largest hydroelectric power project just after the 760 Mega Watts Kanji Hydroelectric Power Project.
However, the Nigerian Immigration Service confirmed that the arrested suspected are in custody while some have been released with a stern warning to renew their visas as soon as possible.
The NIS said:
“A lot of them came into Nigeria with tourist visas that have since expired over two years ago but they have continued to work without anybody disturbing them.
“While the ones in Nigeria have their visas expired already, the company is still bringing more workers from China that will also continue to live and work here once their documents expire.
“Some of the arrested workers were taken away by the immigration while others were released but warned to renew their documents or leave Nigeria."
Nigeria grants Americans, Europeans citizenship, as 600 foreigners apply
Contrastingly, earlier in the year, the federal government announced that it has issued citizenry passports to 286 foreigners.
It was gathered that this approval was made after 600 foreigners applied for citizenship passport of Nigeria.
According to Rauf Aregbesola, the minister of interior, he said these applicants were said to have included Americans and Europeans.
List of 26 countries Nigerians can travel to without a visa
In another development, the 2021 global passport index for 2021 revealed that Nigerians can now travel to 21 countries without visas.
These countries include Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde Island, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau.
Others are Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo respectively.