If I can spare one person what I went through these past few weeks, then my work here is done. These rules are in relation to getting a new passport, other forms of torture (sorry I mean services) may differ. What ever you came for, rest assured your blood pressure will go up.

1. Do not for one moment even THINK that you will do all you need to do in one day. That is just foolish thinking right there.

2. Also do not, I repeat do not take what you see on the web site as gospel truth. It is never updated on time. For information ask your friends, family and even your Indian newsagent because they will know more than the website.

3. Even though the awkward and ill designed official website is what you actually need to apply is and on getting to that site you need the patience of a saint and a nuclear physics degree to get through the different forms and payment system.

4. You can only pay online for new passports and only with A CREDIT CARD. The payment then takes about four days to clear and by the grace of God you should then get an interview date.

5. Even though the High Commission opens at 10am, aim for 8am because there will be a queue outside the locked doors. Bring food, water, warm clothing, firewood, ipod, books, Bible/Koran and all the things needed for surviving in the wild because that is what it will feel like.

6. Once inside you will be immediately and automatically transported to Naija without getting on a plane. The confusion, the raised voices, dodgy toilets, TV that doesn't work, broken floors (health and safety my ass) and the icing on the cake..... the lights actually go out from time to time (NEPA in London!).

7. Be prepared to meet old friends and actually make new ones. Nothing brings Nigerians together like bitching about the Establishment. People will swap notes, ask questions and discuss their life stories. Ahh there have even been love connections. Men you may meet your wives, women you may meet your future hubby or on a bad day you may meet your ex, with his wife and three cute children!

8. Remember, the picture they take of you that day will be in your passport for the next 10 years and unfortunately it will be at the end of a 5 hour wait so you will be looking tired and grumpy with a shiny face. SAY CHEESE!

9. Picking up the passport a week or so later is also prone to drama and happens in the afternoon around 3pm so either have an understanding boss or plan ahead to pull a sickie.

10. Most important rule of all, if you have the chance please just change your passport in Nigeria. With an extra 20K you can get it that same day!

PS Do not make the mistake of thinking you 'know' someone that can help you. There are only a handful of staff in that building, exactly how many people can they 'help'? Two women told me how they paid £600 and £400 to speed up their applications and yet we were all languishing together!
5 Responses
  1. Freaksho Says:

    this is the most hilarious thing i've read all week. egads - NEPA takes light??

  2. ~Sirius~ Says:

    LOL! What can I say. Nigeria we hail thee, A-gain!
    I think I would have coped with the 3rd Point- If I ever had to go through with the process, (sorry I meant to say torture)
    And besides what does one expect from a country whose Satellite disappears.......
    I don't mind bumping into my Ex and his cute little kids, I'll have my Bradgelina Bunch with me, Ha!

  3. CaramelD Says:

    Honestly guys I'm serious when I was there on three seperate occassions teh lights went out for a few minutes. The £400 lady told me their own ws two hours and she just took her kids and left.

    Who must I shame for change to come about? That's the only way. Lagos airport fixed up quick quick after they did a documentary and shamed us worldwide!

  4. Abujamaiden Says:

    So its worse in london than in Abuja. Getting my passport was not a hassle, as least not a third as bad as this post. Maybe necause I went under govt. 'protocol' assistance. Dunno but I was impressed by the passport folk!

    Kai!, e ya!

  5. Shubby Doo Says:

    LOL...ok you right about so much and i wish i had read this

    misinformation to the highest doesn’t need 2 passport photos and the guarantor form for a 10 yr re-issue

    my payment was immediate sha...bit the bullet and did it with google

    key point to note is that no matter what time u get there they round all of you up at the same time like a herd of cattle to take the photo upstairs

    i rushed from work after making up some personal emergency excuse when i realised that my brother could not just submit it for me so i had red/wine lipstick and by the time they took the picture i was plain tired…lets just say the black and white print out i have of the form has me looking like a sour faced winch/harlet...

    i wanted to complain but the guy had already taken umbrage to the fact that I had him correct my name plus I had asked to redo my signature on that pad thing…

    i don't care jare na only naija authorities go see am as I travel into and out of nigeria...will be using my british passport for everything else

    i have to take another day of work to go and collect the thing in person. Not happy about it AT ALL but i don’t have a choice...i just told my little brother exactly what to do (based on my simplified version for experience) and he is already moaning!!!