The shameful sight called Nigerian Embassy at Washignton DC,by Onyema Uche

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It is a pity to observe that Nigeria is not living in this computer age. Walking down the passageway of the Nigeria embassy, the first embarrassing sight is the Nigerian Chancery entrance. It was not just dirty, flirty looking, but more like a deserted/abandoned building. Surprised, I decided to take a walk further to see how other embassies looked from the outside. To say the truth all the other Chanceries were immaculate and neat. I wondered if Nigerian embassy cannot afford to hire people to clean their premises.

Walking inside the embassy first thing I observed was that Nigeria flag was the only torn flag in the vicinity of more than 7 embassies. Why is Nigerian flag torn? Do they not have duwa-duwa people to patch the flag or money to replace it? I also took time to look at other flags of different embassies, like, Brunei, Pakistan, Malaysia, India, and a few others. Their flags were flying high and clear, but Nigeria’s flag was flying torn. Does the ambassador visit that premises?

On the inside, I was shocked to observe that there was no security checks as you walk into the offices. Just like in Nigeria every visitor is free to enter anywhere, clearly no security zone.

To the consulate office could you believe Nigeria of USA is operating with no computers? Just files as they used to carry it in immigration offices in all the states in Nigeria. My appointment was 01-14-2013. Just for collection of ECOWAS passport I had to wait for 2 hours on a 2 week appointment. Wait that was not all.

Filling application form. All applicants were directed to fill the forms on the internet and make payment online. This I did and at the end I was given appointment by 10 am in 2 weeks time. I was shocked to observe that the $65 dollars payment online was not directed to the Nigeria embassy but to an individual in Lagos. According to the online receipt payment was to a different company’s account. Yet they give me date and time which the consulate did not have record of because they had no computer. Upon arrival 9:45 am I had to sign in on a sheet of paper and wait for my time.

I asked the consular why I had to wait when I already had appointment and I came 15 minutes early. He said it was 9ja system ”u know na”. Then I asked him what the $65 online payment was for since the official charge was $30 which you have to pay by money order or check? His response ”my brother I do not know o”. Further more I asked why are the information not stored in data since we applied online. His answer, ”I guess they are working on that”.

Point to wonder, is the embassy collaborating with a Nigerian company to swindle $65 from every passport applicant in the Washington DC? If no please somebody educate me on the relevance of paying/applying online only to end up filling the forms again manually at the consulate office? Why is Nigerian flag torn? Nigeria hmmmmm

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