Officials of the Nigerian Embassy in Argentina have been accused of extortion and the collection of bribes from Nigerians, who visit to process their documents.
Nigerians, who spoke with SaharaReporters, said the officials do insist on collecting additional money after they had paid the mandated fee for processing of documents.
They also said that the corrupt acts of the Nigerian officials had cost some of them the opportunity to process their travelling documents.
Some of the Nigerians, who reside in Chile, revealed that the embassy officials do not attend to anyone not ready to pay the bribe.
The Nigerians in Chile said they had to travel to Argentina to process their documents because there was no Nigerian embassy in Chile.
One of those affected narrated his ordeal when he visited the Nigerian Embassy in Argentina to SaharaReporters.
He accused the consul officers of abdicating their official duties to the detriment of Nigerians in the diaspora.
He said the officers refused to come to work and when they called them, they don’t pick their calls.
He stated, “They only come on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and for you to sign documents, you must pay $50 per page. They don’t issue any receipt for this money and when you question them too much, they don’t sign your documents and perpetually keep your documents in their office.
“It is frustrating and we are really stranded on so many things here.”
Another Nigerian, who resides in Chile and a victim of the extortion, said he was forced to pay for overstay in Argentina while making efforts to get his documents signed and processed by the embassy officials.
He said, “When I went to Argentina from Chile to process my document, I was forced to pay a fine for overstay, which is not because I choose to overstay but because of the nonchalant attitude of the embassy towards us.
“Close to six months of staying in this country, it makes no sense that I am yet to submit my documents.”
Another Nigerian said he lost the chance to begin his Master’s degree programme as he could not afford the illegal charges the Nigerian officials at the embassy in Argentina were demanding.
He revealed that some Nigerians had to give Argentines some dollars to submit the documents on their behalf.
He said, “I missed the opportunity to commence my Master’s programme and had to shift it for another year just but of the inadequacy of your own embassy.
“My documents and degree that I sent to the embassy for legalisation has been pending there for so long and they did not attend to it until the deadline by the institution elapsed.
“Some of us prefer to pay a foreigner a compulsory tip just to get our documents to my own embassy.
“The Nigerian embassy accord more respect to foreigners and attend to them swiftly without demanding for a bribe or extra illegal charges.”
The aggrieved citizens are calling on the Nigerian Government and the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission to urgently intervene and put in place the right persons to handle their affairs in Argentina and Chile.
“The Consular-General in Argentina has continued to show that he is not fit for the position he is handling.
“We want the Nigerian Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to immediately check what is happening to us in Argentina and Chile and begin the process of reviving the image of the country,” another Nigerians urged.