Postcards From Legoland, Denmark

LEGOLAND, Denmark

LEGOLAND, Denmark

By Adeola Aderounmu

Happiness is one of the most important things in life.

When I set out on this holiday trip with my family, I knew my next article would be written in Denmark and I would like to find some inspirations, taking the time off my holiday mood and punching my keyboards. I write from Lanladia-Legoland.

DSC_0999

Lanladia is a small settlement in Billund which is about 265 km from Copenhagen. We took a long road trip all the way from Stockholm. That was the plan.

Before we left Sweden we made quite a number of stops on our way. We spent the first night at a small town called Vetlanda in Småland, in the heart of Sweden. Actually we visited a friend of my wife and her family and spent the night at their country home. It’s situated on a farm area. The children had fun with the kittens and the cows on the farm.

Vetlnda Farm House

Vetlnda Farm House

We also saw a friend of mine Olutayo Adegoke before we arrived at the farm house. It was an impromptu stopover but he was glad to take a short break from his work as we had lunch in a park near his office just outside Nörrköping. It was almost incredible when Tayo told me he would be travelling to Nigeria that night. What a stop we made!

Adeola Aderounmu and Tayo Adegoke

Adeola Aderounmu and Tayo Adegoke

The next day our first stop was Avesta, also a small town in the South of Sweden. There lives Kelechi Udeh, a youg man I knew from Festac Town. We had lunch again in the open and near a car park at the center of the small town. We mingled with Kelechi for about 45 minutes and off we drove. He told me he is very happy to be settled in Avesta and I was marvelled how a Festac Town found happiness in a small town. Variety will remain the spice of life. It will always be in order to bloom where one has been planted.

With Kelechi Udeh in Avesta

With Kelechi Udeh in Avesta

We reached Malmö in the early evening. Tolu Taylor agreed to host us for dinner. We were not going to say no. Tolu, a big brother, was my senior at Festac Grammar School. Adeolu Sunmola who was my junior and my student at the same school joined us. Onyebuchi Echigeme completed the mini reuniuon of the Festac Boys in Malmö when he later joined us for dinner at Tolu’s house. Indeed, Festac Town and the people from Festac are always close to my heart.

With Tolu Taylor and Adeola Sunmola in Malmö City

With Tolu Taylor and Adeolu Sunmola in Malmö City

We spent the night in Malmö and drove off to Denmark the next morning. We left home in Sweden on Tuesday morning and arrived Legoland in Denmark on Thursday shortly after lunch. We have driven close to 1000 km without encountering a single pot hole. I called European (E) roads paradise roads.

with Onyebuchi Echigeme

with Onyebuchi Echigeme

When this essay goes to publication we will probably be on a homeward journey. If our plans work fine, we will make surprise stops at Gothenburg and Örebro to vist more of my friends and incredibly it’s all about the Festac Town connections. They were built connections built from 1977 to 2002. They will last for life. In Copenhagen, we will be lucky if Mary Owolabi is home when we make our journey out of Denmark. She spoke of other plans, but we’ll see what happens.

The children are having a blast. I read one day ago that Denmark is now the home of the happiest people on earth. It’s a good thing to be here when it happened. LEGOs are made or born in Denmark and it is a good experience for the children to see where some of their toys come from and how they come to life in Billund, Denmark. They are old enough never to forget the experience. The adventures have been awesome.

What will be hard for them to know is my heart felt wish or desire for the country where I was born. Unfortunately our experiences together in Nigeria in 2010 were mostly unpleasant. We spent 2½ hours at MMIA before our luggage were complete in our care, ran on generators for 2 weeks, nearly suffocated in heavy and static traffic, had limitations to where we could go and things we could do. The best thing about Nigeria was the warmth of our families and friends.

I have read the news, followed my twitter stream and stayed in touch with global events. I have read so many conspiracy theories on the Malaysia Airline plane that crashed in Ukraine. There are always more sad news than good news or maybe the good things are not always newsworthy. I am mostly worried about the things that are going on in Nigeria, a paradise lost.

Yea, Malala came to town. She was in Abuja to press for the release of the Chibok girls. Then the “bringbackourgirls” campaign group entered a one chance roforofo fight with the corrupt Nigerian presidency. Mr. Jonathan was at the fore front of a “fight” for once in a lazy presidential life time. I learnt he was bitter when he was refused the chance of meeting the Chibok parents.

I know there was an allegation of a missing $20 bn from a government that is now trying to borrow $1bn to fight Boko Haram. Who are the clowns in Aso rock? Everyday several billions of dollars are lost to oil theft only in Nigeria. Everyday too, Nigerian politicians loot several billion of dollars in the executive, legislature, state governments and local governments. That’s the way to explain their sudden riches and capabilities to buy up anything including the former tallest building in Lagos/Africa. They can buy customized private jets anytime they want. How much do they earn legitimately?

The government that steals so much money should be ashamed to even ask for the least borrow-able amount from any creditor. The same government is paying huge sums annually to foreign PR firms and lobbyists to help it repair its battered image and to label Nigerians in such ways as to promote the corrupt government. Only dubious creditors will be willingly to lend money to government that is supposed to be richer than it-the creditor. They call it business when they do.

There is no greater PR than eradicating corruption and serving the people rather than selves. The extremely low level of mentalities of the Nigerian politician leaves one in awe and shock. From the view of the rest of the informed world, it is mockery and easily set Nigeria among the countries ruled by nonentities. The classification, “among the most corrupt” is too easy.

There is at present a wave and fear of impeachment going on in Nigeria only in APC controlled states or in states where a governor brought a PDP-stolen mandate to the APC fold. My bigger expectation is for the Nigerian revolution that will totally impeach, sack and sweep altogether what is probably the most corrupt government in the world with headquarters in Aso Rock, Abuja.

Unless such happens, several million Nigerians will never experience the real meaning and essence of life. The witch-hunting and cosmetic approaches of politicians against politicians who are themselves the major problem with Nigeria are not close to the cleansing solution that Nigeria and Nigerians need. The Promised Land is getting farther.

I knew since 2011 that governance is on a long recess in Nigeria. The trend is common and predictable. Once an election period is over and the new captors of Nigeria settle down to amass, steal, loot and drain the treasuries, the struggle that will sustain or produce the next conquerors of Nigeria quickly goes into motion.

In the last three years, such a condemnable trend has produced the largest number of political prostitutes ever in Nigeria’s history. It is part of the reasons the wave of impeachment became the strongest weapon today, for rather than service to the people and fulfilment of electoral promises it was business as usual and psycho-egocentrism peculiar to the Nigerian political class. It is therefore too easy to line up impeachable offences against those on the other side of the power divide.

Nigeria’s politics is driven by insatiable lust for money and the highest bidders always buy the consciences of the ever-hungry looters called politicians (and sadly the populace too). In all, they are all birds of the same feather and 99.9% of them from Aso rock to Badagry and Sambisa local government areas ought to be spending time in jails by now. But we know that the institutions are dead in Nigeria, the worst hit being the powerless police and the strikingly corrupt judiciary.

The in-thing in Nigeria today is rice politics and stomach infrastructure. Nigerians have short memories and those who are old enough have learnt nothing from history. Even as a boy in primary school I was aware of the consequences of the politics of stomach infrastructure championed by one Shehu Shagari in the late 70s slash early 80s. The NPN was a short-sighted political group that distributed rice, clothes and even apartments to members to ensure that they rig and won the elections back in the days. The rest is history.

That history that includes the extensive reign of tyranny and dictators is what Nigerians have not learnt from. That the PDP, APC or any other party can distribute rice directly or through criminal sponsors is an indication that Lagbaja’s theory of 200 million mumus is a fact. I am short of words or expressions. The situation is not normal; Nigerians are caged, mentally and psychologically!

No matter where I go, no matter what I do. I will always argue for and on behalf of more than 90m Nigerians suffering in silence, disconnected totally from governance and having no idea of the meaning of life, how much more the good life in this temporary passage called earth or world.

I will always argue for social justice, the common good, and a clear understanding of the meaning and essence of life which is not far from the principle of live and let live. I know that illiteracy and total ignorance play huge roles in some parts of the country. I know that the North is a catastrophe based on narrations of friends who went up North.

What I saw in rural Oyo State during my service year in 1995/96 broke my heart. I saw very young and immature people having more children than the number of meals they can have daily. Even most of the adults have no clear scope of what types of life they were living. There is a lot of work to be done across the nations within Nigeria eventually. Education is a top priority now and in the future no matter what becomes of Nigeria or the regions enclosed within it.

My hope for Nigeria and the nations within it is that they will rise again and be on the path they were on the eve of October 1st 1960. The hope includes the rise of functional regional institutions that will usher or return good governance politically, economically and socially. Security of life and property through functional regional security is not the least of priority in a terrorist infected geographical space.

Nigerians are broken almost beyond repair and they need more than a miracle. Nothing short of a revolutionary ideology can save the day, nothing! It must be possible to wipe away corruption, nepotism, tribalism, looting and anything at all that stands in the way of the common happiness. There must be a way forward to build trust and comfort.

Happiness is all that matters in life. The excessive wealth piled up by Nigerian politicians is a reflection of their ill mental statuses, insensitivity to the plights of the deprived and an absolute lack of the understanding of the meaning and essence of life.

There must be a way to knock some senses into the politicians and public office holders that in a transient world, the senseless accumulation of wealth through direct stealing or looting is barbaric, meaningless and inconsistent with expectations of public services directed at humanity. If it takes a revolution of ideology or the over anticipated Saharan revolution, so be it. Silence on the part of a people being oppressed and misruled is not golden.

“Postcards from Denmark” is dedicated to:

1. A friend, Gbenga Akinbisehin (1973- July 16 2014). I heard about your death as a checked in at Malmö, you left too soon, too sudden. You’ll be missed.

2. Every non-corrupt Nigerian working genuinely hard everyday and never having the right to holidays. Your freedom will come.

aderounmu@gmail.com

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FAAN Or NAHCO: Who Employed The Criminals Pilfering At MMA?

By Adeola Aderounmu

The theft of valuable and cherished personal belongings from the baggage of passengers arriving at the Murtala International Airport is a big deal.

It is time to call out the management of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the directors and management at Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc to answer questions on why travellers’ items continue to grow wings on a daily basis when they arrive at the International Airport, Ikeja.

Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos

Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos

One anonymous Mr. Lagbaja spoke on behalf of NAHCO when Premium Times made enquiries about the pilfering of baggage at Lagos airport. His comment was typical: no passenger had come forward to report the matter to NAHCO!

OK! We are doing so now. I am making a report on behalf of thousands of people who have complained about these criminal activities over the past decade.

The truth of the matter is that there are criminals working at the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA) and they are responsible for the theft of items from travellers’ bags daily.

Arik airlines spokesman Ola Adebanji said that missing items from aircraft was commonplace worldwide citing instances from the US. I think it would have been better for this man to keep quiet rather than exposing his ignorance on public relation management.

Then the NAHCO employee continued, our Mr. Lagbaja said that if such incident occurred, the passenger had the right to report the matter to the airline he or she used for the trip. “We advise the victim to formally report the incident either to the airline or the Consumer Protection Unit of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority at the airport”.

Why don’t people report the theft of their personal belongings that occurred before the baggage hits the conveyor belt? The answer is too simple. People don’t believe that reporting the thefts will bring back their belongings. Almost every traveller knows that it is no-brainer to tackle FAAN or NAHCO workers at the Airport on missing items.

The question and answer sessions that will go along with the reporting which may include making a police report can cause a fragile traveller to develop a heart attack. So, indeed nobody will be willing to make any report. No one has the time to drag issues with airport authority on missing items. It is different when the suitcases or baggage do not arrive. Then it’s normal to take up such cases with the concerned airline.

FAAN

FAAN

Somebody or some people at MMA, FAAN or NAHCO should be getting sacked if the seriousness of the matter is to be handled appropriately. The undeniable fact is that criminals open the baggage of travellers and they pick out items that now include hand-held computer tablets. These disgraceful acts take place usually between landing and when the bags hit the conveyor belts.

Some of my friends who visited Nigeria recently (this year 2014) had tales of woes to tell about the items that were stolen from their baggage. I am not talking about one person only; I am talking about a group of people whose items were ransacked between landing and the conveyor belts. Gifts bought for friends, family and even children went missing.

This week, I read how several passengers are also lamenting about their missing shoes, bags, gift items and other accessories that they thought should be saved in their travelling bags. The report was in the Premium Times of June 16 2014. How did criminals get on the employment services at such a sensitive place as the International Airport?

There are so many investigations that need to be done regarding these persistent criminal activities. For example, what is the connection between the length of time it takes for the baggage to hit the conveyor belt and the numbers of items/ goods stolen?

Are the long delays in delivering the baggage to the conveyor belts connected to the fact that these men and women who are off loading the aeroplane need so much time to open and pilfer travellers’ baggage?

NAHCO

NAHCO

Is it part of the employment contract that you must be sticky-or light-fingered to work at that department at the airport? Who takes away all the stolen items? Are the stolen items delivered or remitted to the bosses and directors and shared among all the “criminal” workers?

What is going on at MMA? What is going on at FAAN? What is going on at NAHCO? Who are we going to hold responsible for the missing items? The workers? The Directors? The Board?

When some of us complain about these things, we always hear some people say “noo o!!” that was before! Nobody is stealing again at the airports! We have heard similar stories before at the sea-port; we hear…noo o! No more port rats! Then importers started welding their cars and vehicles like armoured tanks before they hit the international waterways heading to Nigeria!

But the denials on the part of Nigerian airport authority or NAHCO are the usual lies! There are definitely still criminals working at MMA, just the same way the sea-port rats never left.

It is not acceptable when airline or airport officials state that these criminal activities are common around the world. There is a difference between lost and found items or forgotten items and the items that are deliberately removed from travellers’ bags by airport workers. The act of pilfering is not common around the world. In any case there can never be a good reason why criminals should be employed and allowed to remove things from our bags at MMA.

Are there cameras at the terminals to follow the arrival of aeroplanes at the terminals? Are there cameras to follow the progress of baggage until they hit the conveyor belts? At what point exactly do these “airport rats” have the courage to open bags and suitcases and remove items? Who is the head of this organised crime at the airport? Is it something that is approved by the directors of FAAN and NAHCO?

Someone heads the human resources department where these criminals were approved for employment. That person’s integrity is also at stake here. So also are the managers or directors in charge of landing and transportation of baggage from the aircrafts to the arrival hall.

Again, many people are too busy and do not have the time to bring about their cases to the appropriate authorities. This is because once the items are gone, there are no means to trace or find them. People are tired of the way things work in Nigeria. They don’t trust the system and they just “conform” and move on with their lives.

The severity of this painful experience of pilfering cannot be over emphasized. My friends lost so many valuables that they were almost crying when they narrated their stories. This cannot continue and this essay should not be treated as a rant. There is a need for action and I hope that the directors or board members who are tagged in this essay will find a reason to call an emergency meeting to address the embarrassment that the staffs of MMA/FAAN/NAHCO are causing them and their reputations.

Some of us have great difficulties to work out the functions of the various uniform people at the airport. We get totally confused by the several people doing the job meant for one computer or a simple machine!

We need answers (and not denials) from the management of both FAAN and NAHCO.

FAAN is a service organization statutorily charged to manage all commercial airports in Nigeria and to provide service to both passengers and airlines. Its managing director and chief executive at the corporate headquarters in Ikeja Engr Saleh Dunoma must ensure that stealing from passengers’ baggage ends immediately. He cannot claim to be new on the job.

Mr. Wendell Emeka Ogunedo is FAAN’s director of security services. Dear Mr. Ogunedo, how secured are our baggage when they arrived at the airport in Ikeja?

Hajia Salamatu Umar-Eluma is in charge of FAAN’s human resources. Ma, does your office run a background check on those people moving our baggage at the airport in Ikeja? Is it NAHCO’s fault that our things are stolen?

Barrister Ikechi Uko is the director of administration. Can he tell us how security measures will be administered to stop this mess? FAAN must work together with the other agencies at MMA to ensure that they put an immediate end to pilfering at MMA.

NAHCO’s mission is to be the leading service provider in the African market. Unfortunately all the core values of NAHCO are questionable with this permanent trend of stealing from passenger’s baggage. There is no integrity when bags are opened and things stolen from them. There is no respect for individuals when NAHCO workers steal from passengers.

The chairman of NAHCO Mr. Suleiman Yahyah must call his workers to order. Nigerians need to be sure that the stolen items are not ending up on his desks!

The vice-chairman is NAHCO is Mr. Denis Hasdenteufel. How is he working together with the chairman to ensure that criminals are not working for NAHCO AVIANCE?

Altogether there are about 12 directors at NAHCO. Their areas of responsibilities and job descriptions are other areas that would be of interest when some of us look for information on NAHCO’s website. It is clear however that NAHCO is responsible for aircraft handling, amongst other services that it provides at the airport.

An average traveller does not really know the interrelationship between FAAN and NAHCO or their terms of agreement. People just want to be sure that when they travel to Nigeria that their bags are not tampered with. As a people heading to Nigeria we don’t want to develop any panic or heart attack just because some thieves working for NAHCO or FAAN are going to steal our personal belongings or the gift items in our baggage.

Those who manage the Lagos Airport must stop living in denial. They should wake up; smell the coffee and live up to their responsibilities. What is important is for them to educate their workers. NAHCO for example must ensure that its core values do not exist only on papers, but in actions. By all or any means, those whom we entrust with our baggage must stop stealing our personal belongings.

aderounmu@gmail.com

After the Dana Air Disaster

By Adeola Aderounmu

The Dana Air Disaster was altogether avoidable.

More than 160 people dead. Men, women, children, passengers, pilot and crew members all perished in one swoop.

There have been series of technical faults with the aircrafts that belongs to DANA AIR. It is likely that the one that went in flames and crashed in Lagos was one of the faulty planes.

Sometimes I wonder if the pilot and crew members are briefed about the state of the aircrafts that they are embarking upon. It is possible that the owners of the flight company hid facts and figures from their flying crew because I don’t think that anyone will add flying in a faulty aircrafts to the high risk of flying in the air. May the souls of the departed find peace.

Now is the time to withdraw DANA’s license if it is found that the management intentionally put the life of its passengers and crew at risk.

The Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation should be fired to send very strong signals about the seriousness of the Nigerian government to wipe out preventable air disasters.

The rulers of Nigeria and the government of Lagos State should find the families of the deceased (both the passengers and those killed on the ground) and make sure that they receive psychological, emotional and financial support needed to move on with their lives.

The insurance companies should not be found wanting on the side of Dana Airways and the individuals that have lost their lives. Life insurances, where applicable, should start rolling out without delay and without unnecessary bottlenecks. Some people have insurances that are not known to their families. The insurance companies owe it as a duty to find the relations and surviving members of the deceased.

The Dana Air disaster reminds us once again that Nigeria and indeed many parts of Africa remain dumping grounds for waste products from the rest of the world. The Nigerian government should ensure that planes in Nigeria are modern and air-worthy. Efforts must be genuine and realistic to stop the importation of abandoned airplanes to Nigeria.

Pius Adesanmi has criticized the Lagos State Government for buying old and abandoned trains from the Canadian government.

Nigerians and Lagosions can show their protest and dissatisfaction by refusing to embark on such trains. These trains, abandoned in Canada and unveiled in Lagos, should be sent to the recycling center and burnt or the metals recycled-with immediate effect.

Governor Fashola should make haste to discard those trains because they will kill Lagosians one day. It is too true to ignore.

Old trains, old airplanes and old buses fall in the same category of moving coffins. Why do we need to shed the blood of Nigerians by bringing obsolete transportation means to Nigeria?

When are we going to learn and use our brains? Why buy cheap stuffs that will take innocent lives?

Nigerians don’t need a ruler who shed tears at the scene of accidents that are preventable. They need leaders who know what leadership means. They need leaders who can lead by examples. Jonathan buys himself new presidential jets every now and then and his government did not see the need to ensure that Airlines like DANA do not fly old and faulty planes in our sky. That is such a scandal and there is nothing wrong laying the blame at the table of the ruler of Nigeria.

This disaster is very sad. We lost our friends, families, brothers and sisters. The people we know lost their loved ones and we are all together in this grief. It could have been anyone of us in that flight.

We travel by air trusting that the flight company has done what it should do, the right way. Travelling by air will continue to be a huge risk and it is therefore necessary to remove and eliminate already detected potential source of danger. DANA airline is guilty of flying faulty aircrafts and does not deserve to remain in business.

The Minister of Aviation must be sacked and other people who one way or the other contributed to the negligence that led to the crashing of the plane should be made to face the music accordingly.

If there are no consequences for this avoidable scenario, Nigerians have not learnt anything and this could happen again.

Lastly it is no secret that the worst roads in the world are likely in Nigeria. Our roads are bad and our waterways are underutilized for water transportation. Militants are kidnapping sea/ocean workers and robbers are way laying night buses. How can people travel safely in Nigeria? This question requires an urgent answer.

 

 

 

Nigerian Immigration Service: How Not To Issue New International Passports To Nigerians Abroad

By Adeola Aderounmu

Nigerians living in certain parts of the world are already frustrated and unhappy with the performances and activities of some of the Nigerian embassies abroad.

One remarkable problem area with the Nigerian foreign missions is in the issuance of the International passport for Nigerians residing abroad.

I have listened to several Nigerians who have been frustrated by the processes/ procedures of acquiring new Nigerian passport at the expiration of their old passports.

The stories and experiences from the Nordic countries are as diverse as the narrators.

Some people have to wait for 2 months or more before their passports are available for collection.

Sometimes some people waited so long that they eventually gave up! It is a harrowing experience to wait for 6 months.

A few years ago the stories were always about taking the applications from Sweden to London for processing. I don’t know if anyone has verified if such stories were true.

It won’t be out of line to doubt the authenticity of such fables against the backdrop of the new found boldness of the Nigerian Immigration officials who now travel for about 6000km from Nigeria to Sweden from time to time.

Their missions include “snapping photographs” and travelling back to process passports for their ( sometimes helpless) fellow citizens living in the cold Nordic zone.

When the present Nigerian ambassador to Sweden arrived in 2011 he made efforts aimed at fast-tracking the application process.

He had also made us to believe that he had been tackling the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) on the need to ensure that the Nigerian embassy in Sweden can independently issue passports to Nigerians living in Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Finland. His efforts have not yielded the desired outcome.

Nigerians living in the Nordic area usually turn to the Nigerian embassy in Stockholm for services relating to passport renewal and other important services that the embassy can help with.

It is therefore both scandalous and disgraceful that the Nigerian embassy in Sweden does not have the capability to process and issue Nigerian passport for Nigerians living in the countries mentioned above.

In the past the story was about “the passports are made in London”. Now it is well known that Nigerian Immigration officials travel all the way from Nigeria to Sweden on a certain day and an announcement is sent by sms to Nigerians connected to the Nigerian Union. The Information is also available online (see http://www.nigerianembassysweden.se).

Here below is the mission of the Nigerian Immigration Officials who have travelled from Nigeria to Sweden.

[“Dear fellow Nigerians

Nigerian Immigration officials from Abuja arrived at the Nigerian Embassy today the 13th of March to assist Nigerian seeking to obtain the new E passport. The officers will be at the embassy in Stockholm until Friday the 16th of March 2012

Those wishing to secure the new E passport should report at the Embassy of Nigerian in Stockholm, with the following requirements.
1. Identification document in form of a Nigerian passport, Swedish passport, A Swedish ID card or equivalent
2. passport photographs
3. A letter of authorisation from parents for children seeking the passport
4. A passport fee of 700: Swedish Crowns
Call the Nigerian Embassy to confirm if you are unsure of your particular requirements”]

The information on the embassy’s website is not the same as the sms that has been sent by the Nigerian Union. Somebody had lied about the dates and I won’t be shock if the purpose is to create panic. On the website the duration of the wasteful presence of the NIS officials is 2 weeks.

In any case this story solidifies what is known about the nature of corruption in Nigeria. Corruption and the display of intellectual deficiency are so endemic that the winning argument as at today is that there is no hope for Nigeria.

I have no doubts that the fact that the Nigerian embassy in Sweden has no passport processing machine is because the NIS director or senior officials find it convenient to embezzle funds by sending some favoured or selected officials to Sweden. If they are here themselves, it won’t be shocking.

The NIS by these acts/attitudes is showing the world that it is incapable and irresponsible.

I am convinced that it is cheaper for the Nigerian government to deliver an authentic passport machine to provide for the needs of Nigerians living in the Nordic countries than sending some already officials to Sweden every now and then. The smell of corruption is too hard to ignore.

Why buy a cow when the milk is so cheap?

The Nigerian government in the past and now has never pretended about her profligacy. When Goodluck Jonathan visited Sweden at the time Mr. Igali was still the ambassador, the Swedish government was left in shock at the display of opulence, waste and reckless spending.

It was so bad that it probably led to the cancellation of the remaining scholarship opportunities for Nigerian students studying in Sweden. A Nigerian student Mr. Oyebanji was quickly referred to Nigerian politicians when he sought a scholarship offer.
Nigerian diplomats and government officials don’t like to read about criticisms of their offices or actions. They want to read about only positive things about Nigeria.

How can they forget the sufferings of the Nigerian people at home and abroad? Nigerians suffer untold trauma when they try to renew their passports. It is one of the worst nightmares that a Nigerian faces, far from home. We must write and talk about these things.

To have an international passport is the right of every Nigerian.
It is not a privilege and all these senseless procedures that infringed on the rights of the Nigerian (like sending immigration officials from Nigeria to Sweden and sending sms to people) must be condemned in the strongest ways possible. These procedures are ridiculous, archaic and unacceptable.

It is even appalling considering that the Nordic countries are ranked among the best places to live on earth. The last time I checked it took 24 hours to renew a passport in Sweden.

The Nigerian Immigration officials should be ashamed of their misadventures in Sweden. How do they feel about living in Sweden for 2 weeks (13th to 27th) just for the purpose of “taking pictures” and flying applications for over 5998km?
It will probably take 6 months before the passports are ready for collection. The information about the collection procedure is another source of worry.

For example, information from the embassy reads:

[“This is to inform Nigerians that the passport renewal that took place in June is now available for pick-up by those that participated in the exercise. Those residents in Stockholm can come to the Embassy to pick up their passports. While those residents in Goteborg, Denmark, Finland and Norway should contact their respective Nigerian Union to know when they can go over to them to pick up their passports”]

These delivery procedures do not meet internationally accepted standards and should be amended without delay.

If the Swedish Police can renew the passport of Swedes in 24 hours then it suffixes to state that one of the plans of the Nigerian embassy in Stockholm should be to tap from the wealth of technical knowledge in its environment.

But this will even remain a farther mirage if the Nigerian Immigration Services continues to send its officials to Sweden instead of sending the machines that are needed to do the jobs.

The NIS must know that it can fool some people sometimes but it cannot fool all the people all the time. Enough of these corrupt practices, stop sending your officials to Sweden! It is a stupid and laughable misadventure.

For as long as Nigeria exists, the NIS should perform its functions in Nigeria and let the embassies take over the functions of providing fully for the needs of Nigerians living abroad.