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Corruption at the Nigerian Consulate Atlanta – A Victim’s Nightmarish Experience

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The Nigerian High Commission in Atlanta Georgia  has become a Cesspool of Corruption as some Nigerians who traveled to Atlanta from Houston for their Nigerian international passport-renewal walk out with horrible stories of bribery, extortion, and massive corruption. One victim complained of how applicants were requested to bring a blank Money Order of $130 each by one Hannatu at the Gate before they can be allowed in, and this has become a routine.  Here’s is a victim’s nightmarish experience:

So we got to the Nigerian Consulate at exactly 9am this morning, the first thing my daughters said was why are there so many people lining up at the gate. My wife responded that; this is Nigeria, you are welcome (Even for me it was awkward too, the last time I saw a queue outside was at the clubs at night). The first thing I noticed from the last time I was there was the gate blocking the parking lots, I soon found out that we now have to pay $20.00 for parking (Supposedly charged by the owner of the next building to the Consulate). After parking, we wrote down our names, there were already almost 50 names written down, meaning several people had arrived at the Consulate hours before it opened at 9am, I can understand this as most of the visitors were from out of state.




A few minutes later a lady from the Consulate addressed the crowd from across the gate, telling everyone what to expect and helped answer some questions. Then they started calling the names (But not in the order that they were written down). I already told myself I wouldn’t get upset no matter what, because I had my family with me.

I thought we got everything we needed until my wife soon told me we did not have the $130.00 for each applicant and that our self-addressed envelope had no stamp, I was deflated. I was hoping we would just get there, go in, wait and do our bio and leave… Nah.

One victim complained of how applicants were requested to bring a blank Money Order of $130 each by one Hannatu at the Gate before they can be allowed in

I went to the business center in the next building and to my surprise, it was like Nigeria all over again. This guy does not only charge $20 for parking, he already bought several dozens of Money orders (130.00 each) and resale them for $140.00 each, I don’t blame him for that, that is business. However, I blame him for selling the USPS priority mail envelopes for $35.00 each… In case you don’t know, the USPS envelopes are free at the post office. So this guy go to the post office and pack stacks of free envelopes and he cannot sell them for $5.00 each but instead, he is selling a free United States property for $35.00, because he knows that the majority of the applicants travelled from out of state and most of them have to return the same day or the next with little to no time to waste. Nigerians!!!!! I am not sure that is not even a criminal offense… I am going to look into that though, so stay tuned.

 

One victim complained of how applicants were requested to bring a blank Money Order of $130 each by one Hannatu at the Gate before they can be allowed in

I walked out and I went to the nearest post office and bought my own Money Order, I already have some free envelopes and when I asked for stamps, the guy said they were sold out! I went to the second nearest post office, their stamps were sold out too!!! How can this happen in America! It cannot be a coincidence that the two nearest post offices to the Nigerian Consulate are out of stamps by 10am on a Tuesday. I have never heard of a US post office running out of stamps in all my life living in the US.

I had to log into my postal account to download a label and print at a UPS store.

Finally it was our turn, I presented our documents and money order, I asked the lady what should we addressed the MO’s to, and she said don’t worry, leave it blank. I was like WHAT?? She said yes leave it blank, she even wanted to take the money order without me detaching the stubs, to which I refused and stated that I can have her take the MO without me filling out the info, but I will need to keep the stubs as those are my receipts of purchase.

She agreed and added them to what she already had inside a large envelope filled with unsigned MO’s…

Questions;

Why must we always create a gap for corruption? Can we ever do anything without kickbacks? What kind of people are we, that take pride in making it’s own suffer? Is Nigerian government not paying these people? How is the government able to track how many MO’s are presented daily and who submitted which ones? Why can we not have applicants mail in their passports and schedule them for a bio appointment? Why do we always have to leave a loophole for corruption?

Though we are a Nation that have institutionalized corruption in every area of our lives, one would think that our culture of corruption will stop at the borders of Nigeria, but no. There are Embassies and Consulates of other African Nations across the world, we don’t see or hear so much issues with their citizens like that of Nigerians in diaspora. These people were appointed to look out for and protect our interests, but they turned around and are milking us dry, taking pride in being oppressors because someone nominated them for the position and they think they are bigger and better than their subjects. The whole bio process did not even take more than 15 minutes once you are called inside, but because of the many artificial roadblocks and challenges implemented to syphon money from applicants, it took us almost 6hrs.

I will not be surprised if the folks in the Consulate get some type of kickbacks from the parking fees charged by the business center beside them.

They wouldn’t even wipe down the finger printing machine after every use as directed by the CDC, subjecting everyone to potential Covid-19 infection.

Though this is something we all don’t like to talk about, like it is not our problem, as a Nigerian-American I am deeply concerned about issues like these. I strive daily to leave a better impression of myself as a Nigerian everywhere I go and with whomever I have any form of relationship with. To see the gatekeepers of Nigeria acting with such impunity in broad daylight is so disheartening.

What really is wrong with Nigeria?

By Foli Adewojo.

Texas Guardian News
  • One victim complained of how applicants were requested to bring a blank Money Order of $130 each by one Hannatu at the Gate before they can be allowed in

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Eléaye Proctor

    April 3, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    Why do Nigerians always call it @international passports”? I wasn’t aware passports were meant for local travel. The term passport denotes it is for international travel. Please, use correct language!

  2. Asinugo - EJIOGU. Chizo.

    April 4, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    VERY Sad indeed! How an we be proud of our nation when we are all corrupt? HON. ABIKE DABIRI Please step in and STOP THE ONGOING CORRUPTION AND RESTORE DIGNITY AT OUR CONSULATE. I DON’T SEE WHY Passports cannot be mailed to the embassy for renewal.

  3. AYO OJO

    April 4, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    We shouldn’t be tired reporting any untoward conduct of Nigerian public officer, as there is no other way to correct and shame these agents of disgrace.May be some of these processes be made automatic to shut out the miscreants. If we give up, the few evil may win. Keep the efforts.
    The offenders be sent back home without any option of acquittal

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Africa

UN cutting refugee rations in Africa’s Sahel amid ‘alarming’ food insecurity

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The conflict between major grains producers Russia and Ukraine is one factor that has driven up food prices in Africa

Food rations for refugees and displaced people are being cut by up to half in parts of the Sahel due to a massive funding shortfall with millions set to go hungry as prices rise and climate shocks hit yields, U.N. agencies said on Friday.

The U.N. humanitarian office (OCHA) estimates that some 18 million people face severe food insecurity in the next three months across the arid belt that stretching across Africa beneath the Sahara. Its $3.8 billion appeal for the region is less than 12% funded, OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said.

“The situation has reached alarming levels in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger, where people will experience emergency levels of food insecurity during the lean season between June and August,” he told a media briefing, saying that the levels of food insecurity were the worst since 2014.

In Burkina Faso, rations are currently at 75% in areas that are hard-to-reach and the most food insecure, and 50% at other sites, the World Food Programme said.

Rations have already been cut by half for displaced people and refugees in Chad, it said. The WFP will be forced to reduce them further from July if more funding is not received.

In Mauritania, the food component of the food-cash ration is being cut by 50% at Mbera camp, it said.

The conflict between major grains producers Russia and Ukraine is one factor that has driven up food prices in Africa. That crisis has also diverted aid from other areas.

“Why is it as bad now? We have conflict in the West African region, you have COVID still raging, you climate-induced shocks, you have rising costs which are all colliding to put basic needs out of reach for millions of people,” Tomson Phiri from the WFP told the briefing.

Texas Guardian News
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Africa

United Nations says time is running out to save horn of Africa lives

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The United Nations appealed Thursday for immediate funds to help the Horn of Africa, warning the intense suffering in the drought-stricken region would likely get worse.

“We’re out of time. We need money urgently to save lives,” UN aid chief Martin Griffiths told a press conference in Geneva, following a two-day visit to Kenya.

The Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the harshest droughts in living memory, with more than 15 million people facing high levels of acute food insecurity and severe water shortages across Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, the UN said.

The number could reach 20 million if the current below-average rains fail.

“It’s likely to get a lot worse for more people in the weeks ahead,” Griffiths said, with prospects for the next rainy season from October to December “as dire as the last four” seasons.

Griffiths said the crisis threatened not only lives but people’s way of life.

Across Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, about 5.7 million children are acutely malnourished, while over three million livestock — which pastoralist families rely on for sustenance and livelihoods — have died, says the UN.

Griffiths said displacement was the main issue emerging from his talks in Kenya.

He added the displacement from drought had been fairly localised, with the displacement from conflict less so.

Ethiopia was facing both drought and conflict and if the fighting in the north gets worse and spreads, “we do need to fear” for a wave of people fleeing the country’s borders, he said.

Griffiths said the Horn of Africa was “particularly underfunded” and funds invested there would be “money well spent… because the suffering is so intense”.

In the Sahel region, the situation was “similarly dire”.

Up to 18 million people in Africa’s semi-arid sub-Saharan belt will face severe food insecurity over the next three months, he said.

The UN humanitarian agency launched its 2022 appeal in December, seeking $41 billion to help 274 million in need of humanitarian aid and protection.

But it now needs $46 billion to help 303 million people, of which it aims to reach 202 million.

Griffiths said donors had so far contributed almost $6 billion so far — a record high at this point in the year.

But since humanitarian funding has levelled out at about $19 billion a year and the 2022 bill has risen, “we’re not even going to make it halfway”, he said.

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Africa

Google Announces $4m Black Founders Fund for 60 Start-ups Across Africa

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Google on Tuesday said that 60 eligible  black-founded  start-ups  would receive  a total of four million dollars  in the second  cohort  of Google  for Start-up  Black Founders Fund  (BFF)

Mr. Folarin Aiyegbusi, Google’s Head of Start-up Ecosystem, Africa,  made this known in a statement announcing the opening of applications for Google for Start-up Black Founders Fund for Africa.

Aiyegbusi said that following the success of the first cohort in 2021, Google increased its commitment in 2022 with additional one million dollars in funding, and support for 10 more founders.

He said that it would result in a commitment of four million dollars to 60 eligible Black-founded start-ups across Africa.

According to him, BFF Africa is open to start-ups in Nigeria, Botswana, Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

He said that while the 13 countries were the prime focus due to their active tech and start-up ecosystems, strong applications from other African countries would be considered.

‘’The Black Founders Fund Africa demonstrates our commitment to supporting innovations in underserved areas.

‘’Black-led tech start-ups face an unfair venture capital funding environment; that is why we are committed to helping them thrive to be better and ensure the success of communities and economies in our region.

‘’The fund will provide cash awards and hands-on support to 60 Black-led start-ups in Africa, which we hope will aid in developing affordable solutions to fundamental challenges affecting those at the base of the socio-economic pyramid in Africa.

‘’We are hopeful that the support received by the Black founders will enable them to grow their businesses and, in turn, drive economic growth in Africa as they create solutions and give back to their communities,” he said.

According to him, selected start-ups will receive between $50,000 and $100,000 in non-dilutive cash awards and up to $200,000 per start-up in Google Cloud credits.

Aiyegbusi said that support in the form of training and access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling challenges unique to each start-up, would be provided.

He said that early-stage start-ups with black founders or diverse founding teams were eligible for selection for BFF.

According to him,   start-ups which are benefitting the Black community and those operating and headquartered in Africa as well as those with diverse founding team, with at least one Black founding member, were also eligible.

He said that those having a legal presence on the continent and building technology solutions for Africa and the global market and those with the potential to raise more funding and create jobs were equally eligible.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Google for Start-ups Black Founders Fund was launched in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement as part of Google’s racial equality commitment.

The initiative is aimed at driving economic opportunities for Black business owners.

Interested applicants can find more information at  http://goo.gle/BFFAfrica.

Application closes on May 31, while winners will be announced on July 29.

Texas Guardian News
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