Some Nigerians in Germany have lamented their ordeals while trying to renew their passports at the Nigerian Embassy in Berlin.
Nigerians in the Diaspora have had to battle with passport renewal issues over time under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The affected persons lamented that they have to wait long hours before entering the premises inside the cold and that a long queue always extends from the entrance of the embassy to the end of the street.
“The people we have at the Nigerian Embassy in Germany here are doing nothing. In fact, we don’t even have an embassy in Germany!” FIJ quoted a Nigerian resident, Malcolm, as saying.
“Now, it is still snowing and the embassy does not even have arrangements for its citizens here. We line up in the cold, just like the way people stand in a queue in Lagos and Abuja embassies back home,” he added.
Malcolm said what Nigerians go through at the embassy reminded him of periods of fuel scarcity in Nigeria when citizens stand in long queues trying to purchase fuel at filling stations.
He added, “They don’t have a place to keep people. If you manage to enter the premises, it cannot accommodate much people. As a matter of fact, the embassy only has just one heater for the multitude of Nigerians trouping in every day from all parts of Germany to renew their passports.
“The only option you have when you are finally within the premises is to stand as close as possible to the next person so you generate body heat that can help you fight the cold.”
Another Nigerian, who identified as Anita, having stayed in Germany for seven years said things are different in other embassies.
“On this same street, we have the Chinese, Gambian and all other embassies. The only embassy where you’ll have people queue on the road as if they are destitute is the Nigerian Embassy.
“It is a shame that although we pay excess money to get the so-called passports, nothing has changed. It took me a lengthy period and a lot of stress before I could get my passport renewed,” she said.
Anita also said she entered one office at the embassy and was told the system showed that her passport had been issued.
“When I started creating a scene inside the office, one official eventually got up from her seat to search around. After a while, she came back and handed the passport to me from a brown envelope. These people deliberately hoard these passports from us, and it is not nice,” she added.
Malcolm said his friends in Italy, Austria and Switzerland werere going through the same ordeal at the moment.
“We don’t have working embassies. I paid close to €700 to get a passport I was meant to pay €120 for online. Why are they treating us this way?” She asked.