Nigerians are fond of complaints, sometimes for very good reasons, then one way or the other, we are sorted so we say “Uhmn… thank God, that’s done no need to moan anymore,” so we moved on to another business, only to complain about the same issues as we did five years prior because the situation is just getting worse and more dehumanising.
Nigerians in the UK have one embassy that issues passport at Northumberland Avenue near Trafalgar Square London – superb location, only on the outside so as to meet up with the First World outlook of the surrounding buildings.
The process of obtaining Nigeria passport is enough of a tale. You could sit reading and clicking away the websites for hours and still end up not getting it ‘right’ – one click will take one completely away from the UK site to a Nigerian site and then to an outside contractor for payment. All complicated but yet, we ride with it.
I had gone to speak to someone because electronic payment services would not accept my card for reasons that I did not get. The alternative was to pay using a system called POS which one can only access by visiting their offices on Fleet street, London and for using the service, there is additional £10 charge using the same card that was refused online.
No problem, payment done, just need to move on.
What about the Money Order?
For every £20 money order purchased, there is £2.50 charge, this is what hundreds of Nigerians going through the embassy must pay daily on top of the normal passport renewal fees.
Actually, Nigeria embassy is the only one needing to use money order now in the UK.
All good, yet we moved on.
But why do Nigeria authority treats Nigerians like trash even when in First World?
For Nigerian Visas, NHG Fleet Street office is well planned – only about 15 minutes bus ride from the passport office. The downstairs office is staffed with knowledgeable people, they are INNOVATE contractors. This office looks like how any office in the First World would, nice plants, clean sitting area, courteous and helpful staff.
Just looking around this Fleet Street office, I begin to understand some of our complex issues – so Nigeria authority wanted to present perfect outlook to foreigners but refused to treat its own citizens the same, even in First World?
So these guys get clean environment and plants with carpeted floor and we get over crowded sitting room, bare concrete floor with stinky unisex toilet in London?
A few years back was the first time I’d really have to use the toilet while at the embassy, so I spent a considerable amount of time just checking where I was supposed to go. “Ha, ha so it is unisex”, No problem but the tricky part was that there were urinals where everyone washes their hands.
So in the First World where Nigerians pay comparable amounts (sometimes even more) for services, people are still expected to ‘live with it’? And we are eager to blame others?
It matters how we treat one another.