No fewer than 1,044 Nigerians were stopped by the Federal Government from departing the country in 2018, The PUNCH has learnt.
The reason for the decision by the government could not be ascertained, but it was learnt that the affected persons might have been placed on the security watchlist for various criminal offences.
The action which was carried out under the Nigeria Immigration Service migration control and compliance also affected 22,889 foreigners who were refused entry into the country.
In 2017, 31,672 Nigerians who were placed on the watch list of the Nigeria Immigration Service were prevented from travelling out of the country.
Preliminary information from the NIS Annual Report, 2018, obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday, also indicated that the NIS granted 15,186 temporary work permit visas to foreigners and generated over N39 billion.
The report further indicated that 17,616 Nigerians were deported from other countries last year while 339 others were repatriated from various countries.
“Thirty-three cases of stowaways were recorded in the same period,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the immigration service issued 1,227,158 passports and 63,816 residence permits in 2018.
The agency also issued 4,466 ECOWAS residence cards while 177,168 visas were issued at various Nigerian foreign missions.
About 4,529,158 international travellers crossed the nation’s borders, an increase of 22 per cent over the 2017 figure.
A breakdown shows that 78 per cent of the travellers came in by air, 21 per cent by land and one per cent by sea.