Big time corruption in LOS airport, every officers want a piece of me

This is the first time I fly into Africa, thru the Murtala Muhammed Airport (LOS). This is a story of not me offering bribe but the extortion from the airport officers that demand me to cough up some money or else I am in trouble.

I am an American businessman with a Visa-on-Arrival approval letter from Nigeria Immigration Service, Office of the Comptroller General. This was signed by IS BASSON, Deputy Comptroller of Immigration/SA-CGI OPS.

When I stepped out of the plane onto the tarmac and followed the sea of people lining up in the building. There were many people in front of me heading to a check-point. A man not in any uniform but hang a photo badge around his badge came to me (identified me as a target). He asked me ”Where is your yellow card?”. I don’t quit undersand what he meant and I said, “I am American and I don’t have one”. He said,” give me $5 and I give you one”. At this time I saw some passenger in front of me holding a yellow card in the size that is recognized to me as a Yellow Fever vaccination card. I had one in my bag and immediately I recognize that he is asking for bridge. I said, “I found it” and he quickly move off and look for another victim behind me.

Then, after waiting for 45 minutes in the line I finally come to the front of the line facing the immigration booth. The officer standing in front of the yellow line to direct passenger to each booth saw me holding the approval letter and directed me to an office. This office has a one foot tall lettering sign on the glass marked “Visa On Arrival Lounge”.

I could be straight walk up to the “lounge” and saved me 45 minutes waiting but there is no sign telling the foreign visitors. There was 3 man in ordinary street clothing sitting behind the desk. All have photo badge hanging from their neck.

I gave my Business Visa-On-Arrival approval letter and my passport. They wanted my credit card to charge on the point of sale machine for $160 fees. I know my Citibank card will work because I have telephone to the Citibank and they reassure me I am good to go in Nigeria prior to flying from USA. However, they may have press some button on the point of sale machine to make the machine not operable.

Then, they said my master card has transmission problem and asked me to pay by cash. However, there is a handling fees of extra USD$30. I had no choice but to cough up $160 + $30 or else I cannot enter the country.
After giving them $190 I asked them to issue me a receipt so that I could gave to my accountant. They whipped out a generic receipt book that anyone can buy from a stationery store (with no printed heading of where this receipt is issued from; that is, no proof of the receipt is from the Immigration office). They wrote the receipt of $190 and gave to me. This is just a scheme to fool ordinary people that making it looking like official.

Then one man led me walking back some 20 meter to the immigration booth to chop the stamp on my passport. After he handed me back the passport he quickly walk away without saying a word. I looked at the visa that is now pasted on my passport page and it written that the fees was $160. So obviously each one of the three man in the “Visa on Arrival Lounge” had conned the visitor and each one get USD$10.

I do not want to make trouble and head out to get my luggage from the carousel….. story to be continue for more bad experience… @@@###$$$ is the sign of my next post

Amount Paid
30 Naira
Date Paid
Office Location
Murtala Muhammed Airport LOS
Bribe Type
Immigration Service
Passport Services

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