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Passport Extortion Racket at Nigerian High Commission Jamaica

June 19, 2015

 In 2010 the E-passport was introduced and issued at the Nigerian High Commission in Jamaica at the cost was set at $150. Many strongly objected to the high cost, to which the High Commission explained that they needed extra money to cover some related expenses. This explanation was not very satisfactory but some paid the $150, while others refused to do so, on the grounds that it was extortion. A few years later, the passport machine was installed at the Nigerian High Commission to the joy and relief of many Nigerians. This joy and relief however was short lived because the passport machine became a tool for extortion. 


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 1. Complete application form on website:
2. Make payment of US$106 using  Visa or Master card

3. Print both Completed application form and receipt from payment to take along with other documents

4.Make payment of US$30 TO BNS a/c # 50575\940681, collect receipt (The slash in the highlighted account number should be forward slash, not sure if I got the correct one, if not please correct.

5. Bring the following: 1. Passport
                                2. Completed application form
                                3. Printed receipt from 'card' payment
                                4. Teller receipt from BNS
                                5. Two (2) pp size photos


In addition to the approved cost of $106, Nigerians in Jamaica are required to pay additional $30 bringing the total cost to $136. The $106 is paid online via credit card while the $30 has to be paid into a local account number in Jamaica. I met with Mr. Mohamed, the immigration officer in charge at the High Commission and his explanation was nothing short of ridiculous. He said it was a conspiracy between the immigration and High Commission. The extra money, according to him does not go to the immigration. He explained that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs permitted Diplomatic Missions to impose this extra cost at their discretion. He further explained that most or all other High Commissions are also charging extra. He pointed out that $30 charged by the Nigerian High Commission in Jamaica is the lowest all over. I gathered from anonymous sources that this was a collective decision by all the Ambassadors. Some High commissions charge as much as $100. Fellow Nigerians, is this right? Is this just? Why should Nigerians living abroad be made to pay more for government essential services? The answer is NO! This is EXTORTION! Nigerians in Jamaica are demanding that:

1. The extra charge of $30 for passport be removed with immediate effect. If this is a legitimate charge it should be included in the fee paid to immigration and the cost spread to all Nigerians. All Nigerians should pay the same rate for government services irrespective of their location. 2. A prompt and full refund to all Nigerians who paid more than $106 for this service.

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This is not about a few dollars; it is about the culture of corruption and greed that has eaten deeply into the fabric of our government and social structure. The philosophy of ‘chop make I chop ‘which has wrecked every facet of our existence and turned our beloved country into a caldron and the average Nigerian ‘bush meat’ for the pleasure of criminals with diplomatic immunity. It is shameful to see that instead of striving to improve the lives of Nigerians in the countries where they serve, our Ambassadors chose to turn our High Commissions to private money ‘spinning’ ventures to serve their selfish means at the expense of those they pledged to serve. We are saying today; WE WILL TAKE IT NO LONGER. WE WILL NO LONGER TOLERATE EXPLOITATION AND THE BLATANT INCOMPETENCE WHICH IS THE EMBLEM AND TRADEMARK OF MOST HIGH COMMISSIONS. Let me pause to highlight a few other related issues: 1. At $106, Nigerian passport would be one of, if not the most expensive in the world. Jamaican Passport was increased from $44 to about $65 just a few days ago. 2. The Nigerian passport is only valid for five (5) years as against Ten years life span of most passports including Jamaica’s. 3. The passport seems not to be renewable since the cost and documents required for renewal are the same as the first issue. 4. The only payment option is via credit/debit cards online. When I raised the issue of cost with the immigration officer, he pointed out to me that Nigerian passport is Bio-metric and cannot be compared with Jamaican passport. This mindset underscores some of the deeper problems bedeviling our beloved country. The Holy book refers to it as “white washed tomb’ mentality. Mr. Mohamed is right, you cannot compare Jamaican passport to Nigerian passport, one values higher internationally. I know there may be advantages to the Bio metric system but apply for US visa with a Jamaican passport (Not Bio metric) and you are most likely going to get a Ten (10) year visa. It is also visa free to many countries. How many years US visa do you get on Nigeria Bio-metric E-passport? How many countries do you enter visa free on Nigeria’s expensive Bio-metric E-passport? The ‘quality’ of your passport has nothing to do with the value of the passport. Our focus should have been on improving the value and international image of our passport and not making the cost unaffordable to average Nigerians. I propose here that:

1. Our passport’s life span should be Ten (10) years.

2. The function of government is not only to provide its citizens with essential services, these services have to be easily accessible. Most Nigerians in Jamaica don’t have credit cards hence online payment shouldn’t be the only option. Immigration should have a local account to which the money can be paid.


My greatest nightmare is the mindset of most Nigerians. Why do we accept anything government officials dish out at us? Why do we not demand that government officials provide the service they were either elected or appointed to offer? Why do we believe that government officials have the right to balance the budgets of their extravagant lifestyles on the backs of the citizens they were elected or appointed to serve? Why do we believe it is ok to pay Ambassador extra money on government services to pay for his 5th wife or another trip to Las Vegas with his latest mistress? Enough is enough!! After 64 years I think we are mature enough as a nation to experience the fundamentals of a functional society. It is time for accountability. I call on all Nigerians home and abroad, especially those in Jamaica to stand up against this PASSPORT FEE EXTORTION RACKET. Late Chinua Achebe said; “the trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian land or climate or water or air or anything else". Those Ambassadors who either conspired or endorsed this extortion racket are clearly bad leaders, hence are disqualified to hold public offices.

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