Nigerian E-Passport Costs And Nigerians Abroad: A Classic Rip-off?

 A scam might involve, for instance, a scheme in which a person pays $20 for a startup kit related to stuffing envelopes for a living, but the kit never arrives; upon receiving the money, the recipient flees. A ripoff, on the other hand, might be a business opportunity in which a person pays $375 for bulk vending machines worth $75. The fact that the advertised product actually arrives – even though it is worth far less than the purchase price – makes it a ripoff, not a scam.

Not content with the daily looting of treasuries, bribes and all other forms of corruption perpetrated on the Nigerian people, home and abroad, it seems officials of the Nigerian Government, through the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has devised a very innovative way of ripping off Nigerians who live abroad.

It is the cost of the new e-Passport.

If you live in Nigeria, the cost of the e-Passport is 8,750 Naira. This, taking US$1.00 to be 175 Naira, and British £1.00 to be 250 Naira, translates to US$50.00 and British £35.00 respectively. Please note that there will always be fluctuations in the exchange rate every time.

If you are applying from outside Nigeria, the cost is US$110.00, translating to a whooping 19,250 Naira or British £75.00. It is outrageous. I do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that this a government trying to make money from Nigerians living outside the country on the misplaced premise that these set of Nigerians are making their money in hard currencies like the Dollar and the Pound.

What this means is that were I to be living in Nigeria, I could get two e-passports for two of my children instead of one, and still have change left.

I can understand if there is an add-on cost of maybe £10 to £15 to cover administrative costs of processing the e-passports from Nigeria and then sending them abroad in bulk, but charging well over twice the amount for the same product fits snuggly with the above definition of a ripoff.

Furthermore in the UK, as from 5th May 2009, the Nigeria High Commission will be adding £50.00 to the cost of the application to cover, as they said, administrative costs, since the $110.00 per e-Passport is repatriated directly to the Nigeria Immigration Service. This means the total cost of applying to have a Nigerian e-Passport in the UK will be £125.00.

This is one hefty sum, but because the mentality in Nigeria in general is that those Nigerians living abroad literarily pick money off the ground, from gold-lined streets or grow money on trees, this perception adheres even in the bureaucracy. And of course, knowing our government officials, they will probably embezzle the vast proceeds from their ripoffs, and only an infinitesimal amount of it will end up in the government coffers. Pardon me, but I just find it extremely difficult to trust our bureaucrats, civil servants and politicians, not to talk of the uniformed services such as Immigration, Prisons, Road Safety, Customs, and, you guessed it, the Police.

I will nevertheless give some credit and commend both the Nigeria Immigration Service and our Diplomatic Missions abroad for making the application for Passports a bit technologically modern, less arduous and less chaotic than previously, but the costs is a big concern, I am sure, to many Nigerians living abroad.

The application process itself could be revised. Before you can apply, you need to have a Google e-mail account. It is from your Google account that you can now go on to the Nigeria Immigration Service website and enter your details. Why force people to have Google accounts?

Another flaw in the application procedure is that when you scale through the application and payment processes, you are then allocated an Interview date. Unfortunately, what you are given is a date to attend an interview, bring in the required documents, but there is no Interview time given. This kind of makes it a free for all, because it means first come first served, and you may spend the whole day at the High Commission. This should be reviewed and put right.

Yet another great concern is that of security on the site. I had wanted to use another credit card to pay for the application for my daughter, because I was making two applications. The moment I completed the second applications and pressed "Payment Options", the site immediately recognised my previous credit card and processed the second application using my first credit card, which I had no intention of using. It did not allow me to input my second credit card details, and just proceeded using my apparently stored first credit card without allowing me to change the details. This I find very alarming and dangerous.

So how do we complain about this rip-off deliberately directed at Nigerians living abroad?

Nigerians abroad can contact the Nigeria Immigration Service on http://www.immigration.gov.ng and email them at info@immigration.gov.ng or write them at Nigeria Immigration Service, Old Federal Secretariat Complex, Area 1, Garki , P.M.B. 38, Garki, Abuja or Fax them on +234-9-2341550.

We should also protest this ripoff to Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives and the overseeing Ministry of the Interior at their appropriate addresses in Abuja.

A concerted protest might help, but we should not just sit back and watch while they rip us off everytime.

Akintokunbo Adejumo lives and works in London, UK. A graduate of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria (1979) and University of Manitoba, Canada (1985), he also writes on topical issues for newspapers and internet media including Nigeriaworld.com, Nigeria Today Online, Nigerians In America, Nigeria Village Square, Champions Newspaper, ChatAfrik.com, African News Switzerland, New Nigerian Politics, Gamji.com, Codewit.com, etc.

He is also the Coordinator of CHAMPIONS FOR NIGERIA, (www.championsfornigeria.org) an organisation devoted to celebrating genuine progress, excellence, commitment, selfless and unalloyed service to Nigeria and Nigerians.



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Re: Nigerian E-Passport Costs And Nigerians Abroad: A Classic Rip-off?
10Kobo posted on 04-27-2009, 04:40:14 AM
I thought l was the only "complainant" on this issue of Nigerian embassy officials being hell-bent on reaping-off fellow Nigerians, living abroad.
I recently visited Naija towards the end of last year and 'took the opportunity' to get an E-passport since the current type l had was expiring in a few weeks.

Well, back to "abroad", l wanted to re-validate all the official documents on the old passport, unto the new one and one of the embassy staff of a third country, politely told me that since the passport was not issued at our local mission in that country where l wanted to do the validation, l should take the passport to our local embassy and let them "confirm" its genuineness!
I was pissed-off a bit but shrugged and murmured to myself..."no be your fault", ...and since this passport was 100% "authee", l proceeded to our embassy.

The arrogant guy pipped at the passport a few times and asked a few stupid questions like, "how do you want me to confirm it is genuine"? (as if that was my responsibility?). I showed him all the Zenith-NIS payment card, the printed NIS-receipts, my flight ticket and the corresponding dates with the passport issuance, old passport, e.t.c......

He just told me point blank that "they dont confirm documents that they did not issue" and that if l have paid and applied for it at the embassy, l would have saved myself all these trouble!

The host country's embassy staff was aghast and resignedly told me that "if my own country's embassy staff refused to confirm my country's passport, would l expect her to do otherwise"...even if she believed me that it was genuine?
I told her 'NO', since charity begins at home.

Basically, this is another SCAM to milk fellow Nigerians of foreign currency!
They should have written on their website that "Passports obtained in Nigeria are NO LONGER RECOGNIZED AS NIGERIAN PASSPORT" and we would all have recognized that to be so!
So, l guess l have to pay to get another "confirm-able" one from this our foreign embassy?
What wont we do to ourselves....FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY?
Someone should call this ignorant chancers to order.
10Kobo
Re: Nigerian E-Passport Costs And Nigerians Abroad: A Classic Rip-off?
10Kobo posted on 04-27-2009, 04:40:53 AM
I thought l was the only "complainant" on this issue of Nigerian embassy officials being hell-bent on reaping-off fellow Nigerians, living abroad.
I recently visited Naija towards the end of last year and 'took the opportunity' to get an E-passport since the current type l had was expiring in a few weeks.

Well, back to "abroad", l wanted to re-validate all the official documents on the old passport, unto the new one and one of the embassy staff of a third country, politely told me that since the passport was not issued at our local mission in that country where l wanted to do the validation, l should take the passport to our local embassy and let them "confirm" its genuineness!
I was pissed-off a bit but shrugged and murmured to myself..."no be your fault", ...and since this passport was 100% "authee", l proceeded to our embassy.

The arrogant guy pipped at the passport a few times and asked a few stupid questions like, "how do you want me to confirm it is genuine"? (as if that was my responsibility?). I showed him all the Zenith-NIS payment card, the printed NIS-receipts, my flight ticket and the corresponding dates with the passport issuance, old passport, e.t.c......

He just told me point blank that "they dont confirm documents that they did not issue" and that if l have paid and applied for it at the embassy, l would have saved myself all these trouble!

The host country's embassy staff was aghast and resignedly told me that "if my own country's embassy staff refused to confirm my country's passport, would l expect her to do otherwise"...even if she believed me that it was genuine?
I told her 'NO', since charity begins at home.

Basically, this is another SCAM to milk fellow Nigerians of foreign currency!
They should have written on their website that "Passports obtained in Nigeria are NO LONGER RECOGNIZED AS NIGERIAN PASSPORT" and we would all have recognized that to be so!
So, l guess l have to pay to get another "confirm-able" one from this our foreign embassy?
What wont we do to ourselves....FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY?
Someone should call this ignorant "chancers" to order.
10Kobo
Re: Nigerian E-Passport Costs And Nigerians Abroad: A Classic Rip-off?
HolyPagan posted on 04-27-2009, 11:56:14 AM
QUOTE:
I thought l was the only \"complainant\" on this issue of Nigerian embassy officials being hell-bent on reaping-off fellow Nigerians, living abroad.
I recently visited Naija towards the end of last year and 'took the opportunity' to get an E-passport since the current type l had was expiring in a few weeks.

Well, back to \"abroad\", l wanted to re-validate all the official documents on the old passport, unto the new one and one of the embassy staff of a third country, politely told me that since the passport was not issued at our local mission in that country where l wanted to do the validation, l should take the passport to our local embassy and let them \"confirm\" its genuineness!
I was pissed-off a bit but shrugged and murmured to myself...\"no be your fault\", ...and since this passport was 100% \"authee\", l proceeded to our embassy.

The arrogant guy pipped at the passport a few times and asked a few stupid questions like, \"how do you want me to confirm it is genuine\"? (as if that was my responsibility?). I showed him all the Zenith-NIS payment card, the printed NIS-receipts, my flight ticket and the corresponding dates with the passport issuance, old passport, e.t.c......

He just told me point blank that \"they dont confirm documents that they did not issue\" and that if l have paid and applied for it at the embassy, l would have saved myself all these trouble!

The host country's embassy staff was aghast and resignedly told me that \"if my own country's embassy staff refused to confirm my country's passport, would l expect her to do otherwise\"...even if she believed me that it was genuine?
I told her 'NO', since charity begins at home.

Basically, this is another SCAM to milk fellow Nigerians of foreign currency!
They should have written on their website that \"Passports obtained in Nigeria are NO LONGER RECOGNIZED AS NIGERIAN PASSPORT\" and we would all have recognized that to be so!
So, l guess l have to pay to get another \"confirm-able\" one from this our foreign embassy?
What wont we do to ourselves....FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY?
Someone should call this ignorant \"chancers\" to order.
10Kobo


Don't sweat the rigmaroll....wait till you go back to Naija, then take it to the 3rd country embassy, for the stuff you want done. Whatever they ask for, you do it between NIS and the 3rd country embassy...saves you the aggro/headache. Our public servants, love the Power they imagine they have over you, when they appear obtuse, and create totally pointless bottlenecks.
Re: Nigerian E-Passport Costs And Nigerians Abroad: A Classic Rip-off?
Anioma777 posted on 04-27-2009, 20:11:53 PM
I can understand your concern, but unless the is a massive purge of staff from top to bottom in Nigeria and their foreign embassies I am afraid it will fall on deaf ears. The best thing is to grin and bear it. Sometimes Naija wahala is not worth it.

I got my e-passport in early January since my old one had expired since 1987 I remember the look on the face of one these dinosaurs that seem to have been there for an eternity, when he saw the face of a small boy in contrast to my 35 years look. He just stared like a mumu, until I said "I have grown since then".

I must say the service and the efficiency was very good.

QUOTE:
The application process itself could be revised. Before you can apply, you need to have a Google e-mail account. It is from your Google account that you can now go on to the Nigeria Immigration Service website and enter your details. Why force people to have Google accounts?


Unless they have altered the system, I did not need a google account. I paid through some e-payment google approved company ( with, sorry much trepidation as anything involving Nigeria and money I dey shine my eye ). Also its strange there was not an option to change credit card details.
Re: Nigerian E-Passport Costs And Nigerians Abroad: A Classic Rip-off?
SNB posted on 05-16-2009, 16:59:09 PM
How long does going through the normal passport process take in Nigeria?
Re: Nigerian E-Passport Costs And Nigerians Abroad: A Classic Rip-off?
Joan edosomwan posted on 09-18-2010, 12:09:57 PM
l want to apply for nigeria E-passport in lreland Dublin
Re: Nigerian E-Passport Costs And Nigerians Abroad: A Classic Rip-off?
Helen eze posted on 10-27-2010, 06:30:49 AM
the cost of e - passport
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