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09.04.2021 news ‘Facilitators Demanding N200,000 for US Visa Interview Dates’

Published 9th Apr, 2021

By Damilola Ayeni

Twittter user Bamikole Omishore has alleged that Nigerians looking to get American visa are being exploited at the US Embassy.

In a tweet on Thursday, Bamikole said that Nigerians finding it hard to get interview dates are being charged up to N200,000 by facilitators.

“I hope @USinNigeriaembassy is aware that someone is exploiting Nigerians by making it hard to get visa interview dates? Facilitators are charging upward of 200k Naira to get closer interview dates,” he wrote.

Several comments under Bamikole’s thread corroborated his claim. Adaimo #EndSars said he was told he could not get an interview date earlier than 2024 but he could get for the following month if he was willing to pay.

“I asked and was told no date until 2024!!!! But I can even get for next month if I’m willing to pay. This country and everything about it is dubious,” he said.

Segun, another Twitter user, said exploitation of Nigerians had become the norm in several embassies.

“Them don carry this racket enter everywhere,” he said. “You can’t walk into the visa office and get a Schengen visa yourself. They will keep denying you for one reason or another. Pay an “agent” though and they will give you visa.”

For reasons suspected to be COVID-19 related, the embassy currently processes limited student and exchange visitor visas, and the development may have spurred scammers to target Nigerians with fraudulent offers.

Although the embassy clearly warns Nigerians against such scammers on its website, it seems not to be doing enough to protect Nigerian applicants and, according to Igwe Osita, may be complicit in the scheme.

“They don’t care,” Osita said. “They don’t respond to tweets, so maybe they are aware and in on the racket.”

Published 9th Apr, 2021

By Damilola Ayeni

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