There has been nauseating reports about what is happening in Sydney – Australia in relation to the e-Passport. After paying $65 online, then you should come along with$70 cash to physically hand over to Nigerian embassy officials for an e-passport. If you goggle the Nigerian High Commission, Canberra, Australia and there is no email address for the Nigerian high commissioner (Prof. Sunday Oluwadare Agli). A victim told Elombah.com that he has written to NIDO-Australia (Mr Richard Ehiozee) to do something about this ugly trend.
For those who don’t get $70 in less an hour after tax and this kind of corrupt behaviour is annoying, upsetting and irritating.
The situation just narrated as per the extra demand of cash or payment into the account of the various embassies is not different from what we are experiencing here in Germany, said another Nigerian.
In Germany, if you have the old passport already, you are asked to pay extra 50 Euro in addition to the 65 US Dollar paid online.
One is subjected to travel twice to the embassy with at least two weeks interval for the same purpose irrespective of your location to the embassy.
“If the E-passport is that complicated, that it could not be done same day, is two to three days interval not enough considering the cost and inconveniences of travelling to and fro”, moaned a frustrated Nigerian living in Germany.
To get your complain across to President Goodluck Jonathan, you can write on his wall in face book. I have written to that effect, but till now no response from him. I would suggest more people to write on his wall.
Another victim in United Kingdom narrated how she was made to pay an extra $ 5 “administrative fee” at the Nigerian Embassy in London after paying the stipulated $65 online.
Some say it is a Nigerian thing. Even if you fly back to Nigeria to do an international passport, you would still have to spend far more than the official fees.
Those living in Perth (West Australia) “had to pay an extra AU$90.00 cash (unofficial/no receipt after paying the official US$65.00) to be scanned after waiting from 8:30am to 5:00pm last week Sunday when the e-Passport scanning team came around. The notice was very short and was only heard of it on Saturday night. People complained but they are still scrambled to pay and be scanned because when you consider the stress/costs of travelling with your family to the Nigerian High Commission in Canberra (5 hrs flight from Perth), you would still rather pay the unofficial fees. Imagine, only one scanning machine was moved round Australia. Nigerians in Australia pray the machine survives and our passports are processed”!
The feeling of helplessness was expressed by a Nigerian who said: “There is no point escalating any complaints to a higher authority, as we all know in Nigeria that the proceeds of these type of unofficial fees are shared up/down the hierarchy. It’s not much different from the case of the Nigerian Police bosses sending policemen to roadblocks; the weekly/monthly collections definitely filter up”!
However Elombah.com was told that “If you have your receipt to show that you have paid via internet, no one will deny you from getting the new Nigerian passport. On the other hand, report the officer who demanded extra $70 to a senior officer at the embassy and he will deal with the individual”.