By Adesina Wahab
A group, the Nigerian and Canadian Business Network, NCBN, has flayed the Nigerian High Commission in Canada over its planned introduction of new service charges for passport renewal, passport replacement among others.
The group is also of the view that the introduction of the charges at this point on time is not auspicious, bearing in mind the various economic issues Nigerians in Canada are grappling with now.
It, therefore, vowed to sustain its opposition to the outrageous charges, describing their introduction as not only arbitrary and inauspicious but also capable of bringing untold hardship to concerned family members, as well as Nigerian students who have had to grapple with the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
While appealing to the High Commissioner, Adeyinka Asekun, to halt the implementation of the new charges pending a meeting with the relevant stakeholders, the group explained that the decision would impose further hardship on its members.
According to available reports, the High Commission had in a reference letter No. NHC/OTT/ADM.422/X dated 2nd February 2021 titled: “Presidential directive on the implementation of administrative charges at Nigerian missions,” announced the introduction of the new charges to ensure “effective management and efficient service delivery”.
The letter reads in part: “Consequently, the High Commission hereby presents hereunder, the list of services as well as the administrative charges, which takes effect from Wednesday, February 10, 2021. Passport: Fresh Issue/Renewal. 50; Expedited issuance (Wait and get) 200; Lost Passport (Caution Fee) 400; Letter of Certification of Passport 70; Emergency Travel Certificate (E.T.C.): With expired Nig. Passport 50; (ii) Without Passport (Lost Passport with police report) 100; Authentication of Documents 30 (per document); Authentication of Corporate/Business documents 150; Letter to Police for Character Certificate (police report) 50; Repatriation/Shipment of Human Remains 50 (per document); Driver’s License letter 100; Change of Data (Passports) (i) by marriage (ii) others 100, 150.
An appeal letter signed by the Chairman of the NCBN, King Wale Adesanya, on behalf of the group read: “On behalf of Nigerians living in Canada, we request a delay in implementing the new surcharge for the services listed above. We also seek an urgent meeting between the High Commission and various community organizations and stakeholders.”
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