Some victims have told SaharaReporters that Nigerians who want to fly out of the country to the United States of America are now paying N600,000 for a visa interview date.
They claim that this is due to visa interview dates filling up until 2024, compelling individuals who are anxious for an interview to pay astronomical sums to officials.
Abuja, Nigeria: US Embassy
Mr Kayode Usman told SaharaReporters on Tuesday that he had already applied for a visa to fly to the United States.
Usman stated that a US Naval Officer stationed in Nigeria verified this to him when attempting to assist someone in securing an interview date at the US Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
He went on to say that people who had planned to go due to health or academic reasons are the most frantic to leave the nation and would pay N600,000 for a date.
“So, it was a friend of mine who reached out yesterday. He discussed the whole thing and said that for now, you cannot get a date earlier than 2024 on the website of the United States. It is there on the US portal. That means from now till 2024, on every workday that is filled up already. It means people have been given dates to come for an interview.
“I now asked how he got the information because I had also applied before. People that are applying are in a more difficult situation except on medical and academic grounds. So, it has now got to the point that they have a kind of third party arrangement to sell their dates.
“So he told me that she has this agent who is planning to help them a buy date for someone for N600,000. I was surprised. So, before I talked about that information today, I got that information from a US Naval Officer here in Nigeria who said that he saw one for N300,000. He said he was trying to help someone to get a visa date in Abuja. He now sold the date for N600,000.”
According to him, he said the US Naval Officer told him the situation may be an arrangement between the Nigerian and American governments to discourage or limit the exodus of Nigerian youths traveling to the US.
“A travel agent confirmed that if you check the website, you cannot find any date earlier than 2024. That was what the Naval Officer also said that both governments are trying to discourage people from travelling.
“I did not think it could be so bad that you now have dates filled up till 2024 from now. So, in my opinion, I think there is connivance between the two governments to frustrate people aspiring to travel. But, now they are just making money from people because people are paying money to buy interview date and they will tell you to go home after spending two minutes with you,” a victim stated.