Following the frustrations suffered by foreigners seeking to enter Nigeria for business and tourism, an ambassador has lamented to the federal government how a shortage of visa stickers is hampering the work of embassies.
In a memo to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the pain of foreigners, an ambassador wrote: “(We have) been suffering from the dearth of Visa stickers and passports booklets since six months back. This difficulty arose as a result of the non-supply of those materials by the Nigeria Immigration Headquarters. Officers who deal with the issue are Nigeria Immigration Service Officers and are in constant contact with their colleagues in Abuja.
“Since the exhaustion of the stock, the Embassy has put on its website that processing of passports and visas has been put on hold due to non-availability of those items. The sad experience complained about is not as a result of the inaction of the Embassy.”
The content of the memo sighted by Everyday.ng, it was gathered, has been the bane of almost all the embassies, even after visitors have paid the required fees to the Immigration account for visas and passports.
Worse, it was learnt, Nigerians seeking to renew their passports are made to pass through the gruelling experience of travelling to the embassies with no success, as embassies complain of shortage of passport booklets.
Everyday.ng learnt of the tearful experience of Nigerian in one of the country’s European embassies who wept openly when their passports were returned and their hopes of coming home for Christmas dashed. Many are said to have suffered the same fate, unable to return home for Christmas.