Jeddah Passport Office: A Petition to the Nigeria Honourable Minister of the Interior
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Dear Honourable Minister of the Interior, Gen. AbdulRahaman Dambazau (RTD).
We, the undersigned, are requesting you to investigate the activities of the passport office, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as we are aware this department of government falls under your jurisdiction.
The Nigeria residents in Saudi Arabia cannot acquire a passport without going through the most harrowing experience. The luckiest person is that who has his/her passport renewed or issued after three months of data capturing.
As a Nigerian resident in Saudi Arabia, the mere thought that your passport or that of your dependent is going to expire soon can shoot up your blood pressure as one looks ahead to the torture and uncertainty awaiting one at the Nigeria Consulate Jeddah.
We rightly feel that the very long waiting time it takes to acquire a passport at Jeddah is uncalled for, considering the effort the Nigeria government through your ministry has invested in making its acquisition easy.
Often, it's either they say the printer is spoilt, the machine is not functioning, there is no availability of materials and so many other excuses. Within the same period that these excuses are given, passports are still allegedly being issued to people who are ready to do 'deal'.
However, It's understood that the problems usually faced at the consulate are majorly man-made and intentionally designed to create lethargy and allow corruption fester.
The glaring lack of work organisation, poor record-keeping at the passport unit, staff incompetence and transparency etc., have been identified as the causes of our torture.
It is clear that certain individuals at the passport unit lack sincerity and are not ready to do their job with candour. In addition, they seem to lack the requisite competence at managing such an important department of government.
Sir, similar complaint last year, which saw your intervention, only brought a temporary succour. Since the exit of the previous staffs whom we thought were worse (honestly, they were), the current set of staffs are worst.
We, therefore, humbly request you to probe the activities of the passport staff at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
We urge you to investigate why it is such a torture to obtain a passport at the Jeddah consulate despite the effort the government has invested in making its acquisition easy. Besides, fees are charged at the consulate. This is a fee we doubt its legality.
As we sign this petition, many of us and their dependents have their passport renewal pending for more than six months. Many other are afraid to travel the long distance to Jeddah only to be told that passport is not available.
We need not remind you, sir, the implication of holding an expired document in a foreign country.
The immediate implication is that many are detained from travelling for essential endeavour because of expired passport. Others can't have their residence documents renewed for same reason.
In part of this world, social, economic and administrative services cannot be accessed without valid resident document which its renewal is tied to a valid passport.
We suggest for a complete overhaul of the staffs that will see their replacement with people of character. The current individual who claims to coordinate the passport issuance lacks character and sincerity, and he is running a one-man show.
An additional facility at the Embassy in Riyadh, a central region, can help alleviate our suffering and reduce the pressure at Jeddah. President Muhammadu Buhari advised on this during his visit to the Kingdom in March 2016.
We are ready to collaborate with the ministry in offering suggestion for a better and transparent running of the passport department.
We are hoping that your intervention this time around will bring a lasting solution.
Remain assured of our highest regards.
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