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How the Nigerian Embassy in Austria corruptly overcharges every visa applicant



  • Stops Nigerians from going into the embassy with cell phones
  • POS installed at the embassy as a conduit pipe of corruption

An open letter to President Buhari, National Assembly/House of Reps. Members, Foreign Affairs Minister, and the Acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration

According to one of the famous quotes of Martin Luther King Jr., “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” My mind and brain clashed severally on the exposure to the exploitation and criminality going on inside the Nigerian Embassy in Vienna, Austria. Nevertheless, as Prof. Wole Soyinka said, “The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny.” My impetus and courage are driven by the fact that my convictions are bigger than my fear – because Nigeria will be great if we all do our part.

Consequently, as a true patriot, I am compelled to add my voice in solidarity to the cries of Nigerians in Austria who dearly crave the urgent attention of the Nigerian government to end the disgrace, manipulation, intimidation, fraud, and neglect they have been subjected to for a long time unchallenged at the Nigerian Embassy in Vienna, Austria. According to the complaints, the conduit pipe of the evil this time is mainly orchestrated via visa and passport applications – code-named “Administration fee”.


When one applies for a Nigerian visa online, one goes through all the processes, pays the money as the website of the Nigeria Immigration Service stipulates, and the person is instructed to take specific required documents and proceed to the Nigerian Embassy for the visa. But when one gets to the embassy and submits the documents, surprisingly one is not given the visa as directed, rather a fraudulent transfer slip of €50 – claimed by the embassy to be an administrative fee – is given to that applicant to go to any nearby bank and pay into an account allegedly and boldly written to belong to the Nigerian Embassy in Vienna. If one does not pay this money the person will not be given the visa. It is equally the same thing with the international passport. After the payment online, one must pay an extra €30 at the embassy if the person is living in Austria, otherwise, it is €100, or else the person will not be attended to.

One of the banks accounts these monies were paid into was opened on 09.08.2021 at Bank Austria, with the account number AT64 1200 0515 7402 311. Wherever the monies were paid before then would be worth investigating. The account was later closed sometime in March 2022 and was simultaneously replaced with an installed POS inside the embassy. Currently, the POS is what people are using to pay the imposed extra €50 and €30/€100 administration fees by the embassy for visa and passport applications. Closing and reopening an account several times in the same bank in a developed country like Austria which has a working society is an indication that something is wrong.

Following are other fees that equally go into the same account (attached is a screenshot info of the “Administrative Charges” from the embassy’s website before it was removed): (1) “Temporal Work Permit cable Visa endorsement fee €100,” (2) “STR Visa endorsement fee (per document) €200”, (3) “Urgent collection subject to approval by Minister (C&I) €50”, (4) “Lost Passports €200”, (5) “Change of names due to marriage €50”, (6) “Applicants from other passport issuing countries (in addition to other regular charges) €100”, (7) “Processing of applications for renunciation of citizenship €300”, (8) “Endorsement of Business Documents €200”, and (9), “Attestation of documents €40.” Reliable information from an impeccable source is that these proceeds – between €30,000 to €44,000 – are not honestly remitted to the Federal Government.

Besides the POS payment there is also the possibility to pay other so-acclaimed administrative fees by the embassy at the bank. Attached is a bank transfer slip given to a person by the embassy for two persons’ visas to be paid into the purported embassy’s account with the number AT12 1200 0100 2182 8982 at Bank Austria.

The ambiguity and the questions here are: Is Nigerian Immigration officially aware of this very €50 (equivalent to N38,000) and €30 (around N23,400) extra visa and passport charges? If yes: do the monies paid to go into the account of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or to some pockets of a few privileged individuals? If indeed, it is truly true that the money actually goes into the Nigerian Government’s account: why is it not possible that one can also pay this extra money online at the same time one is equally paying for the visa or passport fee? Why are the charges not stated like other fees on the website of the Nigeria Immigration Service as one applies? Why was it difficult and considered not important to inform people that they would be required to pay extra €50 and €30/€100 for administrative fees at the embassy like they were informed on what they needed to bring to the embassy – if the monies were appropriate and not corruptly inserted in the process? Is the Federal Government of Nigeria aware of the monies that are currently going through the installed POS at the embassy?

For how long shall many of our leaders continue to treat us like animals – torment, oppress, disgrace, and humiliate us everywhere, every time, and at every little loophole they see, both at home and abroad? Evil does not know one’s religion or tribe. We all suffer from it. So, when can we as Nigerians forget our differences and come together against oppression, corruption, repression, and injustice, etc. and say in unison that enough is enough without sentiments?

Furthermore fellow Nigerians, it is essential to also let you know that so many Nigerians who went home for the 2022 Christmas holiday were heartbroken because they were exploited, frustrated, and subjected to abuse by the embassy officials due to their inefficiencies. How? Many who had applied and had paid for visas to travel to Nigeria either lost the money they had paid for air tickets or had to pay extra for rebooking because the embassy failed to give them visas on time, with flimsy excuses of lack of “visa sticker.” Must we always be maltreated and exploited like this?

The sad one currently again is that no Nigerian is allowed to go into the Nigerian Embassy in Vienna, Austria with mobile phones. Why? At first, they started compelling visiting Nigerians to off their cellphones before being allowed into the embassy, and they have now graduated to the point of not allowing anyone to go in with a cell phone. Everyone must deposit his/her cell phone with the receptionist, or else the person is denied entry. What is all this? What is there – inside the embassy – to hide? Are we the only embassy in the world? Why are they afraid of their own shadows? The cellphones could at least help many who wait at the embassy for a long time to interact and keep them busy. But who cares how the people feel? That one cannot be reached or make calls while inside the embassy is heartbreaking and very sad. However, the reasons for this awkward and inconsiderate decision are obvious. Aptly, they want to avoid Nigerians taking photos or making videos of their embarrassing conduct, and the waiting room of the embassy they have shamelessly turned into a restaurant of Jollof rice and a pepper soup joint, and a below-standard of the dirty restroom that is an eyesore. Otherwise what else?

Nigeria is a country where ugly and despicable things could be made to look normal, especially if highly placed people are involved. My heart bleeds. Consequently, I protest on behalf of concerned Nigerians in the Diaspora and appeal to the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari to please come to the aid of Nigerians in Austria via the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama whose bulk of these complaints directly fall on his desk and in conjunction with the Acting Controller General of the Nigeria Immigration, Isah Jere Idris – to please urgently and sincerely react efficiently to the moan of the aggrieved Nigerians for the benefits of all. We plead for an official investigation into the unscrupulous and indecent activities and corruption going on at the Nigerian Embassy in Vienna, Austria, and demand an immediate stop to them. It is incredible. Perhaps, the case is equally not different in other Nigerian Embassies around the globe and the investigation should be comprehensively extended. We are watching.

Unbelievable things are happening under this Nigeria Embassy in Vienna, Austria that is yet to be revealed, and when they are, they will shock the entire world.

God bless Nigeria.

May God bless Nigeria.

♦ Uzoma Ahamefule, a refined African traditionalist and a patriotic citizen writes from Vienna, Austria. WhatsApp: +436607369050; Email Contact Uzoma >>>>

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Houston Resident Builds Library In Sagyimase, Ghana



Alice B. Otchere is a native Houstonian and was raised in Houston’s Fifth Ward. She never thought of herself as a philanthropist. After high school, she attended the University of Northern Iowa, and along the way received Business School Certifications from the University of Michigan and the University of Texas. She established herself in Houston and developed a longstanding and successful career in Human Resources, at all levels through executive levels. Otchere visited Accra, Ghana in 2019 after connecting with her sons’ Ghanian family. The family welcomed her and her sons with open arms. While touring the country, she visited Sagyimase, the village which the family called their “home village”. She observed that there were no libraries in the area for the school children and others in the community of villages.

After visiting Ghana and returning to the United States, Otchere established the non-profit Literacy for Life ( in September 2019. She has received tremendous financial support from her immediate family, including her family in Ghana who donated the land. In addition, she received support from friends and Port City Chapter (TX) Links, Incorporated sisters by hosting fundraisers and receiving donations from many donors who appreciate the value of her commitment to share blessings with those in need. She also contacted the pending Consul General of Ghana in Houston to advise him of her plans. He was delighted to hear about a Houstonian engaged in humanitarian efforts in his home country.

Ms. Otchere returned to Ghana and Sagyimase in January 2020 to announce to the family and the village community her plans to build a library. While there, her desire and plans to build a library were confirmed. She saw the local village school and recognized it was underserved. She asked one of the teachers if they had a library. There were a few books, and the bookcase was dilapidated. As an avid reader, Ms. Otchere wanted to do something to ensure the schools, the students and all who lived in the area would have access to a library. She committed to do her part to work towards building and operating a Library in Sagyimase. 2020 offered challenges with the COVID pandemic; the air space in Ghana was closed and travel into the country was prohibited. But 2020 offered opportunities to work with the General Contractor, Architect and Project Manager to layout the plans for the library.

In September 2021 Otchere returned to Ghana to break ground for the library in Sagyimase, Ghana! Since that time, the project has been on-going, and the Project team has been successfully meeting construction milestones. The library is scheduled to open and begin operations October 16, 2023,
When asked what her family takes away from this experience, Otchere says, “you don’t have to be a millionaire to help a village”.

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Coco Gauff subdues Aryna Sabalenka to win the U.S. Open for her first Grand Slam title



NEW YORK — Coco Gauff won her first major title on Saturday at the US Open with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Aryna Sabalenka in front of an adoring crowd under the roof on a stormy day at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

After the match, the 19-year-old American fell to the ground and lay on her back on the court before sobbing in celebration. After hugging Sabalenka, Gauff ran up the stairs to tearfully hug her parents and then the rest of her team.

Moments later, Gauff told the star-studded crowd, which included Kevin Durant, Diane Keaton, Nicole Kidman, Spike Lee, Mindy Kaling and 2006 champion Maria Sharapova, that she still hadn’t fully processed the victory.

“Oh my goodness, it means so much to me,” Gauff told ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez. “I feel like I’m a little bit in shock in this moment. That [2022] French Open loss was a heartbreak for me. But I realized God put you through tribulations and trials and that makes this moment even sweeter than I could have imagined.”

After the match, several high-profile celebrities, including former President Barack ObamaFirst Lady Michelle Obama and President Joe Biden, sent her congratulatory messages over social media.

Gauff is the youngest American to win the US Open since Serena Williams in 1999 and the first American player to win a major title since Sofia Kenin at the Australian Open in 2020. Gauff also became the first woman to win the title in New York after dropping the first set in three matches during her title run since Williams, also in 1999.

When speaking to the media after the match, Gauff said it was an honor to have her name listed on the same trophy as Williams and her sister Venus, who won the title a combined eight times.

“I mean, they’re the reason why I have this trophy today, to be honest,” Gauff said. “They have allowed me to believe in this dream. Growing up, there weren’t too many Black tennis players dominating the sport. It was literally, at that time when I was younger, it was just them that I can remember.

“Obviously more came because of their legacy, so it made the dream more believable. But all the things that they had to go through, they made it easier for someone like me to do this.”

Gauff, the tournament’s No. 6 seed, was broken in the first game of the match and struggled to find any rhythm in the nervy 40-minute opening set. Since the first set winner had won 27 of the previous 28 US Open women’s finals, history was not on her side. But she took control in the second set, breaking Sabalenka in the fourth game and recording an 81% win percentage on first serve. Her confidence grew with every point, and her “Come on!” screams and fist pumps became increasingly more animated.

In the deciding set, it was all Gauff. She jumped to a 4-0 lead and withheld Sabalenka’s last-ditch efforts and a medical timeout at 4-1. After two hours and six minutes, Gauff was the US Open champion.

“You played unbelievable,” Sabalenka said to Gauff during the on-court trophy ceremony. “Congrats to you and your team, you guys deserve this title. Many more to come, I’m pretty sure.”

Despite still being a teenager, Gauff has been one of the sport’s most recognizable stars since she burst onto the scene at Wimbledon in 2019 and reached the fourth round as a 15-year-old qualifier. Since then, she’s won five WTA titles and reached the final at the 2022 French Open.

With several high-profile sponsorship deals and a growing presence on social media, Gauff has remained under the spotlight and the expectations for her career have continued to increase. On Saturday, Gauff said the pressure has been overwhelming at times, and she felt she was expected to immediately win a major title after her run to the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2019.

“It’s been difficult,” she said. “I mean, it’s been a long journey to this point. I wasn’t a fully developed player, and I still think I have a lot of development to go. At that moment, I think people were putting a lot of pressure on me to win. I felt that at 15 I had to win a Slam at 15.

“I think that was, you know, not the mistake, because everything led to this moment so there were no mistakes, but that was a little bit of the pressure that I was feeling. Now I just realize that I just need to go out there and try my best.”

After losing in the first round at Wimbledon in July, Gauff brought in a new team, including coach Pere Riba and consultant Brad Gilbert. Since then, she’s won the titles in Washington D.C., and Cincinnati and is 18-1 during the current hard-court swing. She defeated two Grand Slam champions en route to the final, as well as 2023 French Open runner-up Karolina Muchova in the semifinals.

Gauff told the crowd she had been motivated by those who had doubted her.

“I want to say honestly thank you to the people who didn’t believe in me,” Gauff said. “A month ago, I won a 500 title and people said, I would stop at that. Two weeks ago, I won a 1000 title and people were saying that was the biggest it was going to get. So three weeks later, I’m here with this trophy right now.

“I’ve tried my best to carry this with grace and I’ve been doing my best. So honestly, to those who thought they were putting water on my fire, you were really adding gas to it. And now I’m really burning so bright right now.”

Gauff later told reporters she had been reading comments online from those who didn’t think she was going to win right up until the match.

In addition to earning $3 million for the victory — something she thanked Billie Jean King for fighting for as she received it — Gauff will improve to a career-high ranking of No. 3 on Monday. Sabalenka, the reigning Australian Open champion, will take over the No. 1 ranking for the first time despite the loss.

Gauff will also return to the top spot in the doubles ranking, alongside partner Jessica Pegula. The pair reached the quarterfinals at the US Open.

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Upcoming FITCC Conference – One-on-One with the Event Facilitator, Linda Anukwuem



…Says the event will validate demand for a Nigerian Consulate in Houston

The President of AIX LLC, the Houston-based facilitator of the FITCC Conference, Linda Anukwuem walked into the newsroom at the Texas International Guardian to shed light on a two-day international conference expected to attract a diverse group of entrepreneurs and industry leaders in America’s fourth largest city, Houston. Ms. Anukwuem spoke to the publisher, Dr. Anthony Ogbo. Below is the transcript:

Come October 24-25, the Fidelity Bank Plc. Nigeria will unveil its premier international trade and creative fair themed, Fidelity International Trade & Creative Connect (FITCC). Tell us, what is this event all about? 

Thanks for this opportunity. The event is a unique platform to bridge the gap and support bilateral trade between Nigeria and Houston. Nigeria has a large diaspora community that resides in Houston and the neighboring cities which include Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio looking to engage in business activities back home. In addition, the event will bring over 100 exporters in various industries looking to transact with retail buyers, manufacturers, etc. The event will create an atmosphere to do business beyond borders. Networking and engagement will be instrumental to a successful outcome for the event and Fidelity Bank Nigeria.

In addition, the ITCC will take place at the George R. Brown (GRB) Convention Center, one of the 10 largest convention centers in America, and this event will be the first Nigeria-facilitated conference to be held at this convention center.


Anukwuem… “The proposed partnership with TSU will allow a working collaboration with the students depending on their choice of study. We are really excited about their participation and cannot wait to release more details soon.” Photo/International Guardian

Good to know that this event will create a path to doing business across and beyond borders. Tell us about the structure – what exactly would participants be expecting? 

Attendees should expect the following: tradeshow, panel sessions, topic-focused breakout sessions, fashion show, networking, and B2B meetings. The discussions will feature experts, policymakers, and businesses from Nigeria and the United States to provide a more cohesive discussion allowing challenges, success stories, and solutions to be shared. Registration is very important due to limited seats for the panel and breakout sessions.

In addition, this trade expo will surely carry out the theme ‘Connecting Nigeria to the World’. Exporters will showcase authentic products including but not limited to textiles, food seasonings, and items displaying craftsmanship of what ‘Made in Nigeria’ truly exemplifies. The trade expo will be activated on both days from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 pm. Please visit to secure your complimentary registration

There is this video of Houston’s Mayor, Sylvester Turner, who just led a three-country trade mission to West Africa, acknowledging the city’s readiness to host this event. What part does the city of Houston play in this event? To Mayor Turner, who will out-serve his tenure in a few months, what does this event mean to him and the city? 

Yes, that was a video by Mayor Sylvester Turner detailing the significance of this event and the City’s commitment to matters of international business, especially involving African affairs.  Mayor Turner has been extremely supportive of the event and his office has shown the willingness to support within their capacity. The event has extended an invitation to the Mayor to welcome guests and attendees at the Fidelity International Trade & Creative Connect. We look forward to hearing a goodwill message from the Mayor at the Opening Session. We are also dialoguing with the Houston Airport System which is significant for their presence to support their quest to reactivate the direct flight to Lagos from Houston.

I truly believe the Fidelity International Trade & Creative Connect is an excellent opportunity to elevate the discussion and the need for a Nigerian Consulate which has been spearheaded by many in the Houston diasporan community and Mayor Sylvester Turner.


The ITCC will take place at the George R. Brown (GRB) Convention Center, one of the 10 largest convention centers in America.

Tell us about partnering entities of this event. We heard that FITCC is partnering with many other entities, including the Texas Southern University in Houston. Any details on this yet?  

Yes, FITCC will be partnering with a few local entities including Texas Southern University. The proposed partnership with TSU will allow a working collaboration with the students depending on their choice of study. We are really excited about their participation and cannot wait to release more details soon.

From dignitaries to delegates and participants, who exactly are you expecting here? 

Local officials including Mayor Sylvester Turner, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe (CEO & Managing Director) Fidelity Bank Nigeria, Her Excellency Engr. Tamunominini Olufunke Makinde (First Lady of Oyo State, Nigeria), Benedict Oramah (President – Afrieximbank), Engr. Henry Obih (Independent Director-Fidelity Bank Nigeria), Ufo Eric-Atuanya (Senior Vice President, Global Business Development – Export-Import Bank of the U.S.), 97.9 The Box – G.T. Mayne

How could guests, partners, volunteers, etc. reach out to the event facilitators?  

Complimentary registration to attend the event is available at For inquiries, please send us an email through or call us at +1 (832) 452-7784

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