Before I start my story, I would like to apologise for slow updates on my Blog over this weekend. I took a trip to London for the weekend and it’s all part of the job, the only thing was that it slowed down my updates. I hope I am forgiven? *tongue out*…lolz. I promise to bring you very hot and spicy gists again from tomorrow…Love ya mucho!!!!!
Make Sure You read to the end: And the story start s now!!! So, over the years, there has been so many complaints about Nigerian Embassy in the UK. That bad impression made me dread of visiting that place and therefore, I would rather sort my passport issues at Immigration office in Nigeria than go to their Office in London.
However, as the complaints became enormous, I decided to do my private investigation, in order to find out what the problem is and clear the air about certain bad impressions people have, if any.
MY EXPERIENCE OUTSIDE THE EMBASSY BUILDING: My first bad impression is that they physically push people about in the queue:
Many Nigerians in the UK are scattered in different cities and locations, therefore, have to make their journeys miles down to London Immigration office to sort out whatever their issues are. However, they are left with bad memories and the feeling that Naija will always be naija.
I was told that people travel very early to the place in order to secure sitting or standing positions. The place however, gets over crowded and people start physically pushing themselves, or even the security officials at the embassy start pushing people away and causing further havoc. Secondly, I was told they do eye service at embassy, whereby they attend to people based on connections. Meaning some people who are connected with the workers get upper hands compared to people who innocently don’t know anyone or not cut out to bribing themselves into the building to get served. There has been cases in the past of people arriving late, but are given access while others are left there standing in the cold, waiting to be served (what a shame). So with that in mind, I was expecting a large crowd and pushing queue, but to my amazement it had stopped.
So I enquired, and was told they now book appointments online, however, it is first come first served bases. That means they don’t give time slots, which personally I feel would’ve been a better option.
Now my bad experience begins……when I got to the Immigration office…there was a tall dark skinned security guard who was so full of himself, stood in front of the door like Mr Macho and didn’t even look at my face. He was busy talking and explaining stuff to a certain gentleman. I waited and didn’t want to be rude or interfere in their gist. Then surprisingly, another lady who was stood behind was asked by the man to bring her papers and to go into the office. The lady said but this lady in front of me arrived first, why are you asking me to go in before her? And he said but she didn’t show me anything or speak to me (i.e him referring to me) and I said really? meanwhile, because I knew what I was there for….I decided not to argue much so I could gain entry into the building (unfortunately, no pictures or videos allowed without formal request).
MY EXPERIENCE INSIDE THE EMBASSY:
The embassy advices people to switch off their mobile phones while inside the building. So the lady in front of me thought she switched off her phone,but the phone vibrated in her handbag. She took it out and was struggling to switch it off when that same security officer at the door walked up to her screaming “Madam off that phone or I will tell them not to serve you”. To cut the long story short, I put my running mouth inside…lol.
I told the man he has no right to say the woman won’t be served as his manner of approach was wrong. I said he was a bully and that is not a good customer service approach. At that point we had a small caucus of angry women, who are disappointed about how some Nigerians feel more important than others and treat fellow Nigerians without respect. Anyway…Thank God the woman got served and sorted in the end (so I made new friends including the lady as I exchanged phone numbers with them all and told them about egosentrik Blog).
LASTLY….PAYING FOR KIDS VISA OR PASSPORT PROCESSING FEES ONLINE:
Last year a very close friend of mine got frustrated after trying to pay for her daughter’s new passport online. The embassy wants her to pay for a processing fee however, children under 18 years are not authorised to have a credit or debit card. Therefore, adults cannot pay for them and there is no information to guide you on what to do. My friend who was running out of time relocating to America to join her husband, was getting really worked up and frustrated. Then agian…thank God that they eventually got around it and she sorted the passport out, but after too much hassles.
So when I questioned an embassy official over what they are doing about paying fees for children below 18? He told me, “it would’ve been better if their parents were applying for visa or a passport then they can pay all the money thesame time, using the parent’s credit or debit card“(how dumb was his answer my people?).
Then I asked him again, what if the parents are not applying for anything and it’s just the baby or children? he said “there’s a way to get around it, they would have to come to us here in London and we will refer them to a body that can collect money on our behalf “(OMG how stressful could this be?). So I said, sir this answer is unbelievable and stressful. So I asked him, who do I contact to speak about this and how do we apply corrective measures to improve the system? Guess what the ultimate dumbest reply he gave me was?:
“My dear, don’t bother yourself speaking to them, they’ll tell you we will do something about it and wouldn’t do anything”.
Now my question is, how can our Nigerian Embassy improve their services? they said when you are in Rome, behave like the Romans!!! We get exceptional services from other embassies in the UK, but as they say…Naija must be Naija. How do we get better if we don’t speak out or act on complaints?
So my next visit will be to meet His Excellency Dr Dalhatu Sarki Tafida, the high commissioner himself. I heard he is such a lovely and humble man. The Nigerian High commission in the UK will have to learn to serve and not bully Nigerians. They need to improve on their customer service skills and train their workers on how to function effectively with positive attitude at all times. As a qualified HR professional, I would’ve sacked all those Nigerian Embassy officials if I go by their attitudes…however, not all of them are awful…some of them were really nice, like the one who voluntarily took a picture of me in front of the High Commissioner’s office….lol.
Did I forget to add that a lady official was screaming on top of her voice, saying, Nigerians are annoying, will they leave their phones on in US Embassies?? I was shocked to my bone marrow, because she didn’t need to scream and exchange words with the customers. If anyone breaks the policy of switching off their phones, he/she should be warned politely to turn it off, and if he/she refuses, then they should be led out of the building SIMPLES!!!