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EXCLUSIVE: How Nigerian Consulate in Atlanta Extorts Nigerians on Passport Services

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The Nigerian Consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States has been accused of extortion and illegal increment in passport fees.

Nigerians in the United States made the accusations on the consulate and provided proofs in documents made available to News Central.

In the new pricing methods by the Consulate, the processing fees for a Nigerian passport, which was free until now, has been pegged at $30. The fees according to the Nigerians out there has not been charged in five years.

Expedited processing, which has become the easier route to get a passport in good time has also increased to $100 from $65. Nigerians affected by these indiscriminate charges say it may take up to three months before a passport is processed if an expedition fee is not paid.

Buying of Appointments

Nigerians in the U.S. further added that a visit to the consulate now comes with a $100 cost as there is no way to book an appointment on their website.

This indicates that Nigerians have to buy appointments from the Consulate to make necessary bookings for their passports.

These charges have all been effective since the 18th of January, 2021, and have been unavoidable since the consulates in Washington and New York remain closed.

The outgoing Consul General Ambassador, Aishat Musa Aliyu has been accused of masterminding the increments, which according to Nigerians in Atlanta is not going to the coffers of the Nigerian government.

On the average, Nigerians in the United States now have to spend an unofficial $230 including the official charges of the Nigerian government which is $106. For those who reside in the East Coast, they spend an additional $300 on flight costs and those who live on the West Coast spend double that amount.

In total, Nigerians in the US now spend an average of $800-1000 to get their passports at the Consulate in Atlanta.

“This is nothing but sheer EXTORTION of Nigerians in the Diaspora in the U.S.. Nigeria Passport applicants are kept outside of the Atlanta Consulate gate in the cold with no recourse for properly heated shelter or Tent,” a concerned Nigerian in the disapora said.

The Nigerian government and the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) are urged to take necessary steps to mitigate against the rising illegality and a further dent to the country’s public image.

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Environment

Two sentenced for Illegal Possession of Pangolin

Zambia Wildlife Act No 14 of 2015 stipulates a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment, without the option of a fine for persons found in illegal possession of pangolins, their scales, or other body parts.

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A police officer and a wildlife ranger in Zambia have been sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labour for being in possession of a live pangolin.

Mr. Sakabilo Kalembwe from the Ministry of Tourism and Arts Public Relations Officer named the affected officials as Bertha Katanda, a wildlife officer from the department and John Pende, an officer in the Zambia police service.

Sakabilo Kalembwe

Mr. Kalembwe said the jailing of the two officers attests to the nation’s zero tolerance for wildlife crimes. 

“The Lusaka subordinate court has sentenced Bertha Katanda (42), a Wildlife Police Officer from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), and John Pende (54), an Officer from the Zambia Police Service, to five years imprisonment with hard labour for unlawful possession of a live pangolin. The duo was jointly charged with two other persons, for Unlawful Possession of the Protected Animal contrary to section 130 (1) ZWA No. 14 of 2015. Two other suspects in the matter were acquitted” he said.

Zambia Wildlife Act No 14 of 2015 stipulates a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment, without the option of a fine for persons found in illegal possession of pangolins, their scales, or other body parts.  

Read also: https://newscentral.africa/zim-healer-arrested-for-wrongful-possession-of-2000-python-skin/

Each decade, over a million pangolins are poached especially from Africa and sent to China. Due to their prolific insectivorous diet, pangolins are significant in pest control, often eating insects that negatively impact crop production.

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East Africa News

Tanzania’s Electric SGR Operations Gets Power Boost

Energy minister for Tanzania Medard Kalemani has confirmed that the construction of power lines between Kinyerezi in Dar es Salaam and Kingorwira in Morogoro was complete and that Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) was set to supply the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) locomotives.

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Energy minister for Tanzania Medard Kalemani has confirmed that the construction of power lines between Kinyerezi in Dar es Salaam and Kingorwira in Morogoro was complete and that Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) was set to supply the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) locomotives.

Speaking at a Tanesco workshop on Sunday, he said

“We have invested Tsh71.1 billion (about $30.7 million) in building the necessary power infrastructure for the first phase of the SGR. The project is 100 per cent done,” he said, detailing a number of other projects that the government has implemented in the energy sector.

Dr Kalemani, who doubles as Chato MP dismissed concerns that SGR train operations could be disrupted in times of power cuts. He explained that the locomotives will have inbuilt power-saving systems capable of retaining charge for at least one hour.

Medard Kalemani

He further explained that in an effort to meet the 5,000 megawatts target by 2025, Tanzania was currently undertaking some power generation projects which includes the 2,115 megawatts (MW) Julius Nyerere Hydropower Station.

Tanesco’s managing director Tito Mwinuka said although the country’s current demand is 1,180MW of electricity, Tanzania now produces 1,604 MW.

Mwinuka showed confidence in the progress recorded and promised it will be completed by June 2022.

He further added that the Tsh6.5 trillion ($2.8 billion) Julius Nyerere Hydropower Station had strategic importance to Tanzania’s economic outlook and that the government deserved commendation for its implementation.

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Breaking: Veteran Broadcaster Sadiq Daba is Dead

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Sadiq Abubakar Daba, Ace broadcaster and Nollywood actor, is dead. The popular TV host and actor reportedly died on Wednesday evening after a long and harrowing battle with leukaemia and prostate cancer.

A Senior official of the Nigerian Television Authority confirmed the passing of the veteran broadcaster.

Sadiq Abubakar Daba

Daba was married to Bolaji Daba and has 2 children and 6 grandchildren. Although Daba hails from Kano state, he grew up in Sierra Leonne. He won the AMAA 2015 Best Actor Award for his role as ‘Inspector Waziri’ ‘in Kunle Afolayan’s October 1.

Details Shortly….   

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