The medical doctors denied departure by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) were offered jobs in the United Kingdom.
The medical doctors were being offered between £51,384 (N25.1m) and £98,112 (N47.9m) per annum as reportedly stated in the advertisement for the various positions.
More facts emerged Saturday on why 58 Nigerian doctors who were heading to the United Kingdom were refused departure by the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).
Daily Trust on Sunday learnt that the Immigration officials at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) were ordered from above not to allow the medical doctors to depart because there was no communication to the immigration about the mission of the doctors.
It was gathered that the affected doctors actually got a job offer from a yet to be identified Hospital in the United Kingdom.
The recruitment process was conducted by a UK recruitment firm, NES Healthcare, helping UK health care providers to recruit personnel worldwide.
It was learnt that the firm had sent a mail to the doctors that it had gotten approval from the UK government to fly them to England and then issue them visas on arrival.
The doctors were also asked, through the mail, to pay £500 for tickets on a chartered flight to convey them from Lagos to London.
The aircraft flight number ENT 550, registration number SP-ES that flew in from London left Lagos yesterday without the doctors.
The NIS spokesman, Sunday James had on Friday said the doctors were denied departure because 56 out of 58 of them had no visas.
Speaking with Daily Trust on Sunday yesterday, James stated that the Immigration service was not against labour migration but such must be done with due process followed to the latter.
He said, “There was no communication to us at all. Ideally, no person is supposed to leave Nigeria without a visa and if we knew that they are going to get visa on arrival, at least there would be a document from the UK confirming that they have applied for visa on arrival and it has been approved.
He noted that the Immigration was only carrying out its statutory duty of control of entry and exit and couldn’t take any risk, especially as it was a chartered aircraft that came into the country to pick persons without any prior notification.
He reiterated that the decision of the medical doctors to attempt to leave the country without visa was tantamount to smuggling, which is an Immigration offence but the immigration service was not interested in punishing them but turning them back would serve as deterrence to others who might want indulge in such immigration abuse.
He said, “let it be a lesson to others that the Nigeria Immigration Service is not sleeping.”