To start with, ‘pali’ means Nigerian passport. Ok, so why do we need to renew our own passports in the first place? Why can’t people just get ‘passports for life’? And then if/when they renounce citizenship, change their surnames or get deported they can be traded or handed in? Please someone (who can) should think about it and effect it, and sooner than later.

So, I needed to renew my passport. It expires in April (this year) but I have a couple applications to make and just about every country won’t give a visa on a passport that’s got less than three months validity on it. Therefore, the need to renew.

I went online and googled ‘renewing a Nigerian passport’. Returned results were several websites, including http://www.nigeriahc.com.

I went on the Nigeria HC one and to cut the long story short, nearly perished of confusion.

None of these numbers got answered. NONE. Notice the spelling of 'cafe', 'query' too?

None of these numbers got answered. NONE. Notice the spelling of ‘cafe’, ‘query’ too?

I called the number (in the picture below)and some guy with a fake British accent asked me which other websites I had seen when I searched for the High Commission. I told him and he said I should close the Nigeria HC page and go to the ww.swcgloball.co.uk  to make some payment so I immediately concluded he was a scam artist.

Doesn't mention that the staff at this place shut the place between 12.45pm and 2pm because they're on break. You find out when you get there.

Doesn’t mention that the staff at this place shut the place between 12.45pm and 2pm because they’re on break. You find out when you get there.

I went on Facebook to ask and someone said to just go to the Embassy, that it would save me hours of frustration and gnashing of teeth online. So I bought a ticket, and headed into London the next day.

Got to the High Commission, pressed the buzzer and a lady said, “yes, can I help you”? Lol. Any more polite and I would have cried! I said I wanted to renew my passport (greeted her first) and she said “Madam look at the sign there”, and hung up.

So I looked at the sign held to the door and went three doors to the back of the building. Met some very nice security men who told me that I had to go 67-68 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1JU, to pay for the application, and they would give me a date to come to the High Commission for my biometrics to be captured. Now, this information was on the website, but it was confuuuuusing! Nothing helpful at all.

I thanked them, but I was furious. What a waste of transportation, energy (it was freezing), and my time! Anyway, no be me dey find passport? I headed to Fleet Street, and because I am ‘awesome’ with geography and directions, I must have missed the way like once or twice.

Found the building, signed in, and by 12.37pm, I was standing in front of the lady who I had been directed to. Brethren, know what she said? To go and return by 2pm. Why on earth? “We close for lunch break by 12.45pm and resume by 2pm; come back then and I will attend to you”.

Stunned to silence, I walked back to the reception where I was told (with everyone else) I would have to wait outside the building. I went to get a micro sim for my new phone (story around the phone comes next month), and then to get something to eat, so that there wouldn’t be a headline in the news about the social media strategist who perished in her quest for a renewed passport!

I got back to the door at 1.54pm, and by 2pm, we were let back in.

I got in, and the so-called official didn’t show till 2.30pm. I paid the £10 to use their computer to fill out the forms (a better option for me because I didn’t exactly have a lot of faith in the entire process and I wanted to be able to hold someone responsible if something went wrong).

Filled out the form, I made sure to sign out of my email accounts, and then I was told that my ‘interview’ was on the 6th of December. I asked if I could get a different, perhaps closer date (this was the middle or third week in November) but I was told they were given a date to schedule people into everyday and everything else had to be done online.

I left. Tried to move the date at home and it moved it forward by 10 days (16th), with no options to choose from. What? I pressed the ‘back’ key, said a prayer, and closed the browser.

The evening and the morning, the first day.

Part two’s up tomorrow!

 

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Comments
  1. …oh my goodness!!! Really??!! That is some red tape rigmarole…sorry, my friend. ~Zoey

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  2. E' says:

    Hahahahaha
    The evening and the morning the first day…

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  3. Maggielola says:

    Okay this is absolutely ridiculous! You have chronicled your experience well but I doubt it would faze these unprofessional people. The attitude was stinky I had to cover my nose as I was reading. Sorry, lol. Someone needs to hold them accountable. Or better yet, they should hold themselves accountable!

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  4. Amazing Grace says:

    Where is part 2 please?

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  5. Fairygodsister. I was actually going to write about the experiences at the Nigerian Embassy in London. This just reminded me I have to get off my backside and do it. Permission to use your article? Please and thanks.

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    • Hello Biodun, please write! I would love to read someone else’s experience! And of course you’re welcome to use my piece, just let me know when you do. Tweet me @chiomachuka

      Welcome to my blog!

      Like

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