Sokoto - The Nigerian Immigration Service deported 200 illegal immigrants from Sokoto in the last week.
The Public Relations Officer of the service’s Sokoto command, Shehu Marafa, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sokoto.
Marafa, who said the exercise would be sustained, added that the deportation was a directive from the NIS national headquarters in Abuja.
"After massive raids across Sokoto and its environs, some suspected immigrants were arrested and after thorough screening, we discovered that some did not have genuine papers.
"We screened them to ascertain the legality, authenticity or otherwise of their residency documents. Nigeria is not against anybody coming in legally.
"Nigeria always welcome anybody who is genuinely documented. In the same way, we always advise Nigerians to hold their valid travel documents when going out of the country.
"All these were to ensure that they have their original documents and also to be in line with the global acceptance of the rules and regulations,’’ he said.
The PRO said those repatriated were mostly nationals of Niger, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso.
"Sokoto, like most of the border states, has an appreciable number of immigrants from the neighbouring Niger, Mali, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso Republics.
"But those who were discovered among the nationals of these and other countries to have valid documents were released after the screening,’’ he said.
Marafa however disclosed that the deportation exercise would soon be extended to all the 23 local government areas of the state.