Anybody familiar with the attitude of workers in any government-owned establishment towards their work and people who conduct one form of transaction or the other with them will readily agree that the attitude of the workers are usually one of people not obliged to do the work for which they are paid. Not only will they not do their work unless you soak their palms "with grease" they also are usually very rude to boot. My pleasant surprise can only then be better imagined on tuesday the 22nd June when things appeared quite different at the Ikoyi branch of the Nigerian Immigration Service (Passport) office when I went to take my picture for the new e-passport.
By the time I got there shortly after 8 a.m., the officials had started calling names of those of us who had appointment to take pictures for that day and everything was done in such an orderly manner that I had to remind myself that this is actually Nigeria! To add to the pleasantness of my experience, I was supposed to be in court that morning and time was already galloping very fast against me moreso because the particular court I was supposed to be in sits very promptly at 9 a.m.! I was thus forced to approach one of the officials to explain the dilemma I was in and see if something could be done to speed up the process for me or if I could reschedule my picture-taking for the following day.
The official I went to meet was really quite friendly and he directed me to a superior officer who also to my pleasant surprise was really quite friendly and because of his help, I was able to finsh with all the processing at shortly after 9 a.m. Perhaps what impressed me more was the fact that all the officials I came into contact with on that day were friendly and polite. They did their work well and organised the whole place in such a way as to foster orderliness.
With my experience at the Ikoyi passport office, I couldn't help but nurse the hope that things might get better yet in ths country, you can call me naive or whatever else you choose to, but I think it is a hope worth nursing!