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Ogunbowale Olugbenga, the founder of epower.ng has narrated the challenges and nightmare that he passed through in other to renew his passport. According to him, his passport expired and he decided to renew it through the normal procedure but the level of corruption in the Nigeria immigration services was more than what one can say. Read his experience below.

According to him, his passport expired and he decided to renew it through the normal procedure but the level of corruption in the Nigeria immigration services was more than what one can say. Read his experience below.

Do you have a passport? A Nigerian Passport? Congratulations! You are one of the lucky few who have endured the torment of queuing up for hours, days, weeks and sometimes months to secure a passport for the official fee of N17,800.

If you don’t have the patience for queues and weeks of meaningless visits, paying an official as much as N40,000 will guarantee you get your passport the same day or at most, in 3 days (depending on the state).

Apparently, I thought I could ‘do it on my own’. I made the grievous error of paying for my passport renewal online on the 4th of January. Here is a quick rundown of how immigration service has frustrated my life.

January 4

Paid for Passport renewal on-line (a big mistake as not paying in cash and paying through your nose means your passport renewal/procurement process can take forever)

I went to submit my old passport at the Oyo state command and filled some forms. I was not told a capture was needed. I was only told to come back next week.

March 1

I went to ask about my passport. Told to come back next week.

March 4

Visited: no booklet, no passport.

March 6

Visited and accidentally learnt I needed to be captured (it was my first renewal ever). After nearly 6 hours of waiting, I was captured (picture was taken & biodata captured on the portal).

As I would later learn, allowing them to capture me when they were already complaining about booklet scarcity was another mistake because once you are captured, you cannot cancel or transfer to another state.

March 11

Visited: no booklet, no passport.

March 13

Visited, no booklet, no passport. I met with several officials who advised I meet with the Comptroller. I did meet and He asked me to meet with the official in charge. He was not on the seat.

The very next day, someone else was occupying the same seat and He did not attend to my request. Meanwhile, a friend told me his brother secured a passport at the Oyo state command within 4 days after paying 27k.

March 15

Visited, no booklet, no passport.

March 20

Visited, no booklet, no passport.

March 25

Visited twice. On my first visit, the officer I met told me they were attending to backlogs. No time for my passport. The comptroller was on his way out, I could not meet him. I went back by 3:30 pm.

He told me the person in charge is not on the seat, I should check back when He returns. I asked another official who told me the said official had travelled for a marriage ceremony in faraway Kano.

Another official asked me the Church I attend and advised I start praying and fasting. Another official asked me to take my grievances to Servicom. Yet another official encouraged me to take to Twitter.

In between these visits, I made countless phone calls to friends, family and immigration officials asking for help. Nothing has worked.

Why do I need my passport badly? I have been selected as one of the top 24 entrepreneurs in the world with game-changing social enterprise ideas in the @GISTNetwork competition organized by the US Dept of state.

My flight is booked for the 13th of April. Hotel booked. But no Visa. Why? No passport. I have also been selected as a Mandela Washington Fellow. I also need to submit my passport by the 27th of March (for MMWF)

and 28th of March (to process my Bahrain Visa). When I visit the Oyo state command, I take along documents, explaining how I am going to be representing Nigeria in Bahrain for GIST TECH-I and why I need my passport.

It seems I have been speaking Greek and the immigration service has left me no choice but to cry out to Nigerians to save me.

I have a few questions for the Comptroller General and the Comptroller in Charge of Oyo State: Why is the immigration service always running out of booklets & dealing with backlogs?

Why are immigration officials immune to deadlines & genuine emergencies? Why must an entire command stand still because an official is not around? Why must I need to know someone who knows someone before I can secure my passport?

Why do I need to pay 2X or 3X the official rate before I secure my passport? Why do I need to pray and fast, the trend on Twitter or write a diary such as this before I get my passport?

I have deadlines looming. I am a law-abiding citizen. No criminal records. I am travelling to make Nigeria proud. Immigration service, give me my Passport.

How did you renew your Nigeria Passport? Comment Below

Share your Experience with us. It will inspire someone.

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In just a few days after installing CCTV cameras at the airport, many passengers are now relying on the CCTV for their missing luggage. Last week a Facebook user, Dayo Adedayo narrated how he lost his bag and went to the security unit where the CCTV reviewed how his bag was picked up by a Chinese group.

Not long after that, a couple was unable to leave Nigeria for their emergency medical trip to the United State of America because of their mysterious missing passport. Mrs Tourism United Nations World, Ebele Enemchukwu shared this on her Facebook timeline. The couple also relied on the CCTV camera to fish out the perpetrator.

Extract from the CCTV footage

The first picture from the CCTV Footage showed the passport, the actual owner of the passports and the lady that took the passport.

CCTV Caught A Lady Taking Another Passengers Passport At Abuja Airport
CCTV Footage showing the passport, the owner of the passport and the lady that took the passport

The second picture showed a man asking the lady that took the passport if the passport is her own.

CCTV Caught A Lady Taking Another Passengers Passport At Abuja Airport
A man asking the lady that took the passport if the passport is her own

The third picture showed when another passenger was saying the passport belongs to the passengers over there while the lady that took the passport was looking back.

CCTV Caught A Lady Taking Another Passengers Passport At Abuja Airport
A man pointing at the actual owners of the passport while the Lady looked back

The fourth picture showed when the lady came back, took the passports that are not her own while the man that looks like her husband wait for her.

CCTV Caught A Lady Taking Another Passengers Passport At Abuja Airport
The lady took the passport while the man that looks like her husband wait for her

The next picture showed when she took the passport and looked at the passport. I guess she saw that it is not her own. The question is why did she take the passport when she has confirmed that the passports are not her own.

CCTV Caught A Lady Taking Another Passengers Passport At Abuja Airport

The next picture reviewed where the real owners of the passport were while the lady walks away with passports with boarding passes that is not her own.

CCTV Caught A Lady Taking Another Passengers Passport At Abuja Airport
The owners of the passport pictured at the counter while the lady left with her passport

The owner of the passports came back to take her passport but could not find it.

CCTV Caught A Lady Taking Another Passengers Passport At Abuja Airport
The owner of the passport came back to check take her passport

The footage reviewed how the owner of the passport was looking lost and could not pinpoint how her passport got missing.

CCTV Caught A Lady Taking Another Passengers Passport At Abuja Airport
the owners of the passport pictured at the counter while the lady left with her passport

 

What she said

MISSING INTERNATIONAL PASSPORTS AND A MEDICAL EMERGENCY!!!!!

Three days ago (June 29, 2018), our family friends (husband and wife) got checked into British Airways, en route to USA through London Heathrow for the husband’s medical checkup and were at the boarding gate at 7:30am waiting to board the aircraft at the departure lounge of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja when their passports disappeared ‘mysteriously’. Thankfully, CCTV footage revealed that a female passenger who was travelling with a man suspected to be her husband took them 😮. Reasons for this are still unclear. What is clear however is that the woman picked up 3 passports which had 2 boarding passes in them, looked at them, confirmed they weren’t hers, but took them anyway. Abuja Airport security and BA staff notified UK security immediately, and announcements were made on board. The case has been formally reported to the Abuja International Airport DPO.

As we speak, July 2, 2018, both husband and wife have been deprived of their medical leave by this act of …….??? For now, all that is needed is for the lady to be identified. Hopefully, she took them with the intention of returning them. Or what use is a person’s passport to another? Beats me! Wonders shall indeed never end. Please let’s be extra careful at Airports and other public places. Please feel free to share this post. If you know something that might help, please share. Thanks and God bless you.
Ebele Enemchukwu.

One of Linda Ikejis blog reader who witnessed the event said he saw the couple looking as if they were mad. He also said it was announced onboard calling on the perpetrators to return the missing passport.

My family was on that flight we were almost the last to board and saw them frantically looking for the passports and boarding passes. We all thought the lady was crazy. They announced a few times on the flight for anyone who mistakenly took the passports. So sad I thought they made the flight …the man looked ill …sad…why would she do that???

As at the time of posting this report, nothing has been said concerning the missing passport. Though, the security agents both here in Nigeria and abroad are working to fish out the lady and the man that involved in this act.

PS: Sage traveller, be extra careful at the airport. Travel light and make sure all your baggage are with you at all time. At the airport, everyone is a suspect.

Have you misplaced any of your property before at the airport? If yes how did you find it?

As a member state of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Nigerians do not require a visa to visit any of the countries in the community. The only thing that is required is a passport.

ECOWAS is a regional economic union that consists of Fifteen (15) countries within West Africa with its headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria. 

Below are the 15 countries within the ECOWAS community that Nigerians can visit without visa.

  1. Benin
  2. Burkina Faso
  3. Cape Verde
  4. Gambia
  5. Ghana
  6. Guinea
  7. Guinea Bissau
  8. Ivory Coast
  9. Liberia
  10. Mali
  11. Niger
  12. Senegal
  13. Sierra Leone 
  14. Togo.

 

Why you need to renew your passport as an international traveller – Passport is a major part of a travel document that every traveller needs before travel to a foreign country and can only be issued by a government to individuals. It is used to identify the citizenship or nationality of the holder and some other vital information like date of birth, signature etc. There are different types of passport one can have. For instance, there is a regular, special, diplomatic, temporary etc.

This official document is not all that common considering the fact that it is not everyone that travels abroad. Among all the people that has it, only few renew their own as at when due. The reason why the remaining percentage has decided not to renew their own is best known to them.

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