Thank you for stopping by; if you're inspired, please join in

Sunday, 15 January 2012

What is your Nigeria Embassy Experience?

Snaphot of the basement area

Well I'll start by sharing my experience at the Nigeria High Commission recently. We visited their office in central London in December last year to obtain the new e-passport for my children having been given a 6-month appointment back in July when I applied.

On getting there, you are immediately made aware or given the impression that this is Nigeria, all be it in London. Thankfully we met a short queue, not long in the waiting, the bouncer or should I say embassy attendant whose job was to check visitors’ documents was arguing with a lady. From what I overheard, the lady was trying to explain to him that the information he was requesting for wasn't displayed on their website. However, he was having none of it and was talking down this lady displaying so much arrogance and rudeness.

Anyway I and my wife had to lift the buggy whilst also holding my 3-year old as the place had no disable or buggy access. On getting inside to the landing area, we met another 'attendant' who asked what our mission was and I informed him. He led us upstairs to a waiting area which also had a handful of people. After waiting for about half an hour, I had this sneaky suspicion that we weren’t in the right place. As soon as a lady who came to read out some names of people entered the room, I went up to find out from her whom we needed to submit our to. She told us we were at the wrong place that we had to go downstairs. I said to her that one of her colleagues directed us where we were. She insisted we were at the wrong place and so we heeded her advice.

Again, no disable or buggy access to the basement area where we were asked to go. So we had to lift the buggy to the basement area. On getting there, it was like one big market place. The whole place was full of people, the seating area was fully occupied and lots of others standing. It was very stuffy, despite it being a very cold winter’s day but when you've got that many people in a small space you should expect that. I was given a ticket number on presenting my documents to another staff at the basement and that was the beginning of what turned out to be a long, arduous wait. We stood at a corner, with some other families with children, as there were no vacant seats.
Another snapshot of the basemen area

We waited for nearly 3 hours before our number was called. In between, we succeeded in finding somewhere to sit after a family had been attended to and vacated their seats. My older son, was in distress all day and after much discomfort, he fell asleep eventually. My youngest followed suit, poor souls, they must be wondering why we brought them to this hell hole. There wasn’t any changing area for children so it meant nappies had to be changed in the same area people were waiting to be called.

On getting to the counter, I presented my documents to the lady who was attending to me. After perusing through, she told me my children’s birth certificates were missing. I said to her I honestly couldn’t remember seeing this information on the website and I had spoken to an embassy staff the day before and all he advised me to bring along was an authorisation letter including my own passport which I brought along. I requested if they could process the e-passports on the condition that I won’t be able to collect them unless I present the birth certificates but she declined. Fair play to her, at least she was sticking to the rules which I didn’t have a problem with. I had a problem with the fact that I was clearly misinformed by a staff of the commission and the information on their website wasn’t explicit enough either. As we don’t live in London, it felt like it was a wasted journey.

However, on our way out we had to lift the buggy again to the landing area from the basement and I was with the kids while my wife went down to get some items we had left behind. Whilst waiting, this attendant started questioning why I was standing where I was. I explained to him that I was waiting for my wife and we would be leaving in a minute. He didn’t seem satisfied and was more concerned that I left the area. I was quite upset that he was inconsiderate despite seeing that I had two young children I was looking after. How on earth did he expect me to move down the steep stairs with a buggy/child while holding another child? Anyway, shortly afterwards my wife turned up and I gave him a piece of my mind before we made our way out of the building.

We left eventually to return the following week just before the New Year.

I’ll update you in part 2 about what happened and my response to the condition and service in that place which in my view isn't worthy to be called a high commission.

Keep supporting Occupy Nigeria wherever you are and don't forget about 'Give a book, save our future' campaign. The destiny of Nigeria is in our hands.


  1. I don't know why Nigerians can be so mean like this. So sorry you had to go through all that esp your kids.

    I hope you sorted things out finally?
    Anyway, will check back for the concluding part :)

  2. Hmmm... sorry ooooo. It is far far better than what we face in the passport office in Ikoyi. You dont even wanna be there, you will just cry.

    Nigerian mentality aint helping us o. All over the world, our mentality drives us

  3. I dread going there. What the eyes have seen, the mouth would not speak...for now.

  4. Wanted to say sorry about your awful experience. That they put parents and children through that beggars belief but I'm not surprised. Hope you have a better experience next time.

  5. I hope your next visit is better, this is not a good image at all. I think I have been lucky, I've never had issues with the embassy.

  6. Thanks people for your comments, I'll bring you the concluding part very soon.

  7. I am really sorry to read about this especially as we expect things to be different outside Nigeria. I haven't had to go through this personally, but I know people who have had similar experiences, complete with the horror stories as you might expect. This just shows that our mindset as Nigerians is one of the major reasons for these setbacks. I will be looking out for Part 2.

    1. What a poor experience. I hope it is better second time round. The problem is that information is not consistent and you often ask the same question many times and get a different answer. It can be incredibly frustrating especially if you have travelled far to come.

  8. so sorry to hear about the poor customer service you received. I pray it is better 2nd time around.

    My internet hasnt been good i wanted to read this article a while back so i can better prepare my friend who has an appointment tomorrow at the embassy. Lets hope she has a 'successful' experience.

  9. Not to worry Ginger, I hope your friend has a better experience than I did.

  10. It is rather unfortunate that Nigerian customer service is the same even though you are not in Nigeria. You expect that since you are in a country where things work, that should rub off on them but not so. I also had a terrible experience when I went to the Nigerian Embassy at NYC to obtain a passport for my son and it wasn't funny at all. Going on to read the Part 2 of your experience. I hope it was better but I bet there was no change.

  11. Sorry to hear your similarly bad experience at the Nigerian Embassy in NYC. It would be good if you could also write a post about your experience. Let's start highlighting these issues and naming/shaming the culprits involved.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


The written materials and ideas on this blog are subject to copyright and cannot be reproduced without written permission of the blog author who goes under the pseudo names Naija4Life (A Pen and A Heart). Unless stated otherwise all quoted articles, paragraphs, titles or excerpts must be credited to the blog author. To contact the blog author to obtain permission or other copyright issues, please email and await a response:

Live Trafic Feed