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Nigerians In USA Warned, ‘Resist Third Party Touts’ As Passport Intervention Starts In Houston, March

The Oasis Reporters

February 24, 2019

Travel ban on fifty Nigerians to be enforced by the Immigration Service as well as other agencies.

Nigerians resident in the United States of America are hereby informed that
Passport Intervention in Houston commences next Week – March 2019 and they just have to guard against Extortion by “Third Party Touts” as the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS warned.

Below is the address made by Prof. Bedford N. Umez of Umez Foundation on the vexed issue of extortion :

Fellow Nigerians, I am writing to you, this second time, to let you know that the EXTRA charge of $100 in Money Order payable to an unnamed Consular official and the EXTRA charge of $50 in Money Order payable to the unnamed “third party touts” when you apply for your Nigerian passport next week were PROHIBITED by the government of Nigeria since 2017. A shocking call I received from Nigeria yesterday irrefutably confirmed the illegality of those charges – hence the repeated warning by the Nigeria Immigration Service. Accordingly, we must stop this wicked extortion in the name of Passport Intervention Exercise – beginning with the so-called two scheduled Intervention Exercises in Houston next week through March. Below are the details of the phone conversation I had yesterday. Kindly read carefully and help fight extortion, fraud and corruption in our midst.

I. CALL FROM NIGERIA

The surprising call was in direct response to my earlier ALERT to Nigerians on February 3, 2019, concerning the merciless extortion of Nigerians in hundreds of thousands of Dollars by some Consul General and his “third party” group of individuals.

[For those who did not read the ALERT, simply click on this link,

[ https://www.theoasisreporters.com/nigerian-born-third-party-touts-take-over-passport-exercise-in-us-rake-in-n108-million-in-3-days/ ]

and this:

[ http://umez.com/Nigerian-Passport-Intervention-A-Warning.html.]

What I heard yesterday left me in total shock and made me feel sorry for so many unsuspecting Nigerians who have been duped by some Consul General and his “third party touts” (as described on January 21, 2019, by the Nigeria Immigration Service) – all in the name of Passport Intervention Exercise. Indeed, this call demonstrated that what people do NOT know may cost them a lot:

1. Do you know that the Federal government of Nigeria specifically BANNED Nigerian Consulates from “charging administrative/service fees on applications for Nigerian passports and visas” since April 13, 2017?

2. Do you know that the Consulates were required by the government of Nigeria to post the BAN permanently on their websites for all Nigerians to take note?

3. Do you know that the BAN has been on the websites of the Nigerian Consulates to this very day, February 21, 2019?

4. Do you know that Nigerian government has been WARNING Nigerians against patronizing “third party” agents for over three years now?

5. Do you know that the Consulates have the WARNING posted on their websites to this very day, February 21, 2019?

Clearly, many of us do not know the above BAN and the WARNING – hence, the callous extortion on the part of some Consular and the “third party touts”. Nevertheless, before the call ended, the caller left me with the following comments to ponder:

“Yes, Nigerian government will deal with any Consul General who violates its rules and regulations in the United States; however, you people in the United States must be blamed also for this extortion and fraud. Why do you people continue to pay a Consul General and his third-party agents processing fees that are not only prohibited by the government of Nigeria but are by far more than the cost of the passport itself? I suspect, you people earn Dollars easily as some of us here in Nigeria think.”

Fellow Nigerians, I was speechless hearing this man going on and on and on. All I could say was that most of us might not have known about the BAN and the WARNING.

After our phone conversation, I decided to visit the Websites of the Nigerian Consulates in the United States to confirm what I heard. Lo and behold, the man was correct – both the BAN and the WARNING are still on the websites of the Nigerian Consulates to this very day, Feb. 21, 2019.

II. THE BAN AND THE WARNING WERE CLEARLY POSTED —

1. ON THE WEBSITE OF THE NIGERIAN CONSULATE, ATLANTA, and I quote:

“PUBLIC NOTICE: The general public is hereby notified that with effect from April 13, 2017 the Consulate General of Nigeria in Atlanta will not levy a $30 service/administrative charge on applications for Nigerian passports and visas. The General Public is hereby advised to forward all inquiries to the Consulate via the following email: info@nigeria-consulate-atl.org.”

“IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PASSPORT APPLICANTS: ……The consulate does not have an agent acting on its behalf…. Passport applicants are advised to come to the consulate for their interview and biometrics only with a valid appointment.”

[SOURCE: The FIRST page of the Nigerian Consulate, Atlanta: http://nigeria-consulate-atl.org. In case they delete the BAN and the WARNING after reading this revelation anytime from today, here is an IDENTICAL Google Screen copy, made today, February 21, 2019: http://www.umez.com/Passport-NIS/Consulate-General-of-Nigeria-Atlanta.pdf

2. ON THE WEBSITE OF THE NIGERIAN EMBASSY, WASHINGTON DC, and I quote:

“E-PASSPORT APPLICATION PROCEDURES & REQUIREMENTS: APPLICANTS ARE ADVISED NOT TO PAY TO ANY THIRD PARTY. ALL PAYMENT MUST BE MADE ONLINE THROUGH https://portal.immigration.gov.ng.” [Source: Embassy of Nigeria, Washington DC, http://www.nigeriaembassyusa.org/index.php?page=passports . In case they delete the WARNING after reading this revelation anytime from today, here is an IDENTICAL Google Screen copy, made today, February 21, 2019: http://www.umez.com/Passport-NIS/Embassy-of-the-Federal-Republic-of-Nigeria.pdf

3. FROM THE SPOKESMAN OF THE NIGERIA IMMIGRATION SERVICE (NIS), Mr. Sunday James, a month ago (January 21, 2019). Nigerians should “avoid patronising third party or touts and utilise the online platforms provided by the service for their passport application.” [The Guardian newspaper,https://t.guardian.ng/news/new-nigeria-international-passport-to-cost-n70000-says-nis or for the Google screen copy, click on this link, http://www.umez.com/Passport-NIS/New-Nigeria-international-passport-to-cost-N70000.pdf .]

NOW, we know the FACTS: there is a BAN and there is a Warning. What do we do? The answer is quite simple.

III. WE MUST END THE EXTORTION – NOW!

We must JOIN the fight to STOP corruption wherever it raises its ugly head. We must stop the extortion NOW and pay ONLY the required fee by the Nigerian Government, namely, $106 for adults and $77 for children. NEVER PAY ONE DIME EXTRA even if you can afford it – we must be principled! Corrupt individuals will NEVER stop unless people stop them. Indeed, we must know that the most potent weapon in the hands of the OPPRESSOR is the mind of the OPPRESSED!

From TODAY, February 21, 2019, anyone who pays $100 Money Order to be given to an UNNAMED Consular, and $50 Money Order to be given to an UNNAMED “third party” agent or a group either next week or any other time is making a complete fool of himself or herself. Here is the math of that foolishness:

If 3000 Nigerians from Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Louisiana (as usually the case) apply for passports by next week through March, $300,000.00 (i.e., 3000 x $100) will be paid to the UNNAMED, covert Consular, and $150,000.00 (i.e., 3000 X $50) will be paid to the UNNAMED, covert “third party” individuals or group in just THREE DAYS.

This is obscene! This is the worst kind of extortion, and therefore must be stopped by ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

IV. CONCLUSION

While Nigerian government will take a fresh look into the handling of Passport Intervention Exercise in the United States, we must do OUR OWN part to STOP the extortion COMPLETELY! The time has come when the “most educated immigrants in the United States”, i.e., Nigerians, must stand on PRINCIPLE, and stop 419, fraud, extortion and corruption that are destroying our image in this country. These “third party touts” or groups must know that we are no longer going to be their fools. Enough must be enough!

Thank you for sharing!

Prof. Bedford N. Umez

Umez Foundation – http://www.umez.com (Addressing Nigerian African Issues Head-on)

Phone: 832-731-7061

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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