Passport fees: Nigerian mission in South Africa denies extortion

The Nigerian Consulate in South Africa has reacted to allegations of arbitrary fees charged for replacement of lost passports by Nigerians living in the country.

Nigeria’s Consul General in Johannesburg, South Africa, Hon Malik Abdul, stated that he had “been blackmailed as wicked” and tagged “an extortionist by elements within the community.”

Daily Trust reports that there was a protest recently by some Nigerians living in Johannesburg querying the fees charged for loss of passport.

They also demanded the removal of R10,000 (N300,000) demanded by the agents as deposit fee, and another R120, which translates to N3,600, imposed on Nigerian citizens for lost passport processing and passport capturing respectively.

However, the consul general, in a speech delivered to chronicle his activities from November, 2020, when he assumed duty, said, “It must be emphasised that the administration fees and the lost passport fees are paid to the government’s designated account and not to any individual account.

“As head of mission, I have a responsibility not to succumb to the blackmail and intimidation tactics of a few disgruntled elements among our community.”

He disclosed that between March 2020 and May, 2021, the mission issued 10,341 passports, adding that the mission has a backlog awaiting production of about 3, 946.

“This includes mobile interventions in Cape Town, Durban, Lesotho and Namibia. Applicants scheduled received instructions to embargo the processing of lost cases pending further directives from headquarters.”

The envoy stated that the mission took a decision to reorganize the operations of agents who had hitherto operated under the shadows without control and regulations.

He said this had saved “helpless Nigerians who are either computer illiterate or lack access or do not have access to bank electronic payment systems.”

Speaking further, he said he had taken steps to stop xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa by holding Consultative meeting with Kwa-Zulu Natal Provincial Commissioner of Police.



More from author

Security: IGP inuagurates SPU donated by Akwa Ibom gov’t

The Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Usman, on Wednesday inaugurated a Special Protection Unit Base 27, a Special Protection Unit Base of the Nigeria Police...

Mobile app to prevent human rights abuses launched in Jos

A mobile app that will prevent human rights abuses and generally help people to get timely legal services during emergencies has been launched in...

Electoral Act: Why we adopted, passed original committee recommendation – Rep

The member representing Malumfashi/Kafur federal constituency of Katsina State, Babangida Ibrahim, has disclosed that the House of Representatives adopted and passed the initial committee...

Why Buhari attended Barrow’s inauguration — Presidency

The Presidency Wednesday said President Muhammadu Buhari attended the inauguration of Adama Barrow, the Gambian President for a second term, in Banjul as a...