Sunday, March 19, 2017

Acquisition of Nigerian passports – one of Nigerians’ worst nightmares

Is this one of the biggest scams perpetrated by the Federal Government?

A Nigerian passport is perhaps, the most important national identification document a Nigerian can possess, it is one of the least powerful passports in the world because of the bad international image of the country, augmented by corrupt leadership.

Yes, corrupt people are encouraged because the punishment is light.

Now, to go to the real issue…. I applaud the effort of the federal Government and the Nigerian Immigration Services, as far as issuance of passports is concerned… But there are anomalies.

1.      Why can’t a Nigerian passport be made to be valid for 10 years? Countries with less population issue passports with 10 years validity. Then why is Nigeria different? Given our ever exploding population, and the morbid stress of passport acquisition process, why can’t they make it 10 years validity? A person goes thru stress of application for passport; only come back for another battles 5 years later. Does the government derive pleasure in people’s suffering?

2.      Why would a newborn baby, kids and innocent children go through the rigors of getting passports? This is wicked in my view. Why can’t minors get covered by their parents’ passports? Is the government doing this in the name of making as much money as possible?

3.      Why has the government increased the passport fees when the process has become more cumbersome, stringent, painstaking and hassled?

4.      Don’t the government know that the population is increasing? Can’t they do something to make acquisition of passports easier and easier? Why can’t they come with creative approaches? Can’t they create more and more passport acquisition centers?

5.      Why would many people apply for passport and have to wait for months because there are no booklets? Why can’t the government look for ways to make the booklets become more and more abundant, since they’ve made it a big business?

6.      When the government is complaining about the scarcity of dollars, as one of the reasons for booklet scarcity, would they say that they can’t get dollars at the official rates they set? I think black market rates are for citizens who don’t have any choice. But what about the government getting dollars at official rates? Why would they be affected by the problems they created themselves?

7.      Why would “scarce” booklets be reserved for some people in the corridors of power and their favored acquaintances, plus those who pay very high fees?

8.      Why can’t they cancel the mythical 64-page booklet if it’s not available and would hold innocent applicants to ransom for “many” months?

9.      Why can’t an expired passport be simply renewed? Why would a person need to reapply after 5 years, as if applying new?

10.  Why can’t they put at least, another stand-by printer at a center? Why would activities at a center halt because a printer is faulty and there’s not competent engineer around?

Clearly, it’s the government that has created problems for people, as far as passport acquisition is concerned. They increased the fees, refuse renewal, refuse to increase passport validity period, require innocent minors to go through the ordeal of passport application, and they know booklets are scarce.

Is the population too big for the government to handle with their current level of short-sightedness?

No doubt, the government has turned passport acquisition into a serious money-making business, while their customers (citizens) go through hell to obtain what they’re entitled to.

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