US embassy in Nigeria increases fees despite falling exchange rates

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U.S.-Embassy-in-Nigeria

For those trying to secure a travel visa to the US, it is worthy of note that the US Embassy in Nigeria has increased their rate from ₦54,000 to ₦64,000. The increase happened on Friday, 5th May; another ₦10,000 not being great news for travellers.

The Visa fee remains at $160, so it is clear that it is the exchange rate used that has increased. With the fee previously at ₦54,000, this would mean the embassy was working with ₦337.50 Naira to $1 USD. It is appalling to see a governmental body working with black market rates as opposed to the official CBN rate of approximately ₦304, but this can be stomached, I suppose. Lord knows you haven’t seen highway robbery until you try to change your naira to pounds or vice versa with GTB. Those people no dey look face at all. Abokis run when they hear GTB rates.

However, now, the US Embassy in Nigeria has increased the fee to 64,000 means they are using ₦400 to $1. How else will you know a country with an ill president? ₦400 is way too high, especially when the dollar has been going down, not going up.

This means that as things stand today, the US embassy rate is higher than the official rate. Higher than the rates advised by CBN, used by banks, abokis and even GTB!

One school of thought might be that the increase is to accommodate the highly fluctuating naira rate, but the citizens cannot be made to bear this uncommonly heavy cross.

It continues to boggle the mind that there are no checks and balances in Nigeria. People and institutions do what they like and get away with it. This is why the burden on Social Media and blogs cannot be overemphasised; where governments and policies fail, social influence must prevail.

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