The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) says it blocked 58 Nigerian doctors from flying to the UK, Igbere TV reports.
In a statement on Friday, NIS spokesman, Sunday James, said the doctors had concluded plans to leave the country via a special flight at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
According to the statement, only two of the 58 doctors had visas.
Mr James said the NIS reserves the right to deny or allow people from coming into or leaving the country.
“The Nigeria Immigration Service has refused departure of fifty-eight (58) Nigerian doctors who attempted traveling aboard a UK bound aircraft flight number ENT 550, registration number SP-ES that flew in from London.
“The fifty-eight (58) medical doctors were refused departure in line with Section 31 subsection 2a and b, on powers conferred on the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service by the Immigration Act 2015, to prohibit departure of any person under the conditions stated in the Act.
“The chartered flight approved for landing in Nigeria was to carry forty-two (42) medical doctors for a training programme but they were fifty-eight (58) with only two (2) having visa for entry into UK, a situation that calls for refusal of departure,” the statement said.
James said if the doctors had been allowed to leave Nigeria, they could have been repatriated back to the country especially in the face of restrictions occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” he said.