Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Apparently, Mr. Gates recently needed a visa for a planned visit to Nigeria. He was initially refused said visa on the premise that the authorities required proof he would not reside in Nigeria indefinitely, which would cause a strain on social services.

Eventually, the situation was cleared and Mr. Gates received a tourist visa to travel to the country of my fathers. He had to get a letter from his bank, though.

Considering the horror stories Nigerians and non-Nigerians have when they seek travel documents to go to Nigeria, I am happy that regardless of connections, or wealth, all people must go through the same requirements to visit Nigeria. I think that the Embassy officer that initially rejected Gates should get a raise, at least a commendation for treating Gates equally.

Furthermore, Gates' application was likely treated much better than that of most Nigerian applicants for a visa to America. Or anywhere in the world, for that matter! The immense criticism that Nigeria is receiving for carrying out the letter of the law, is ignorant and unnecessary. I know that this story will be fodder for late-night comedians everywhere, but I for one see this as a positive story for Nigeria. Digital Journal sums up my thoughts on this matter - "At least we have to admire Nigerian officials they didn’t care who the person was and just followed the government procedures."

Something tells me that Gates could care less about this situation. Although he is a very talented and driven man, I do not get the idea that his ego could be bruised by this incident.

I am sure he is quite pleased that the $100 laptops are now being used by children in Nigeria. Those children will some day be using some Windows application and buying some Microsoft program, putting more money in his pocket and thus supporting his philanthropic activities.

You can also read my article on the recent Human Rights Watch report on Nigeria called 'Nigeria: Politics Mired in Corruption and Violence'. It is available at Nigerian Lighthouse.

Thanks Uju for the Gates info and thanks also to Misan at The Afrobeat for the $100 laptop clip!

6 Curiosities. Add Yours.:

Rinsola said...

Something about this sounds funny to me, but i can't place it now. Would it be harmful if he comes to stay in Nigeria? Invest his money and allow creation of jobs? Nywayz, the Naija embassy crew know best, abi?


@ Rinsola: Thanks for stopping by the blog! The story is kind of funny. I have been wondering what social services Nigeria has that Bill Gates would ever burden. You are right, if he stayed in Nija, he would defintely create a lot of jobs and the country would benefit. However, the 'Big Boys' would never allow the likes of Bill gates to live in Nigeria. he would spoil business for them.

LurLar said...

I agree with you...the Embassy personel deserves a raise. Nice Post!

Jaja said...

i know it will sound somehow if I say this story gave a small good feeling... Its really not about Mr Gates,
but you know, being Nigerian, one is constantly at the wron end, of the unfair imbalance of power...

At least there werent begging him to come pay a visit at least.. with or without a visa. that would have killed me!

Jaja said...

Should people get a raise for only doing their jobs? :)

ok ok ok, they deserve a raise.. and a bonus too!

t said...

I die..."a strain on social services."

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