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    Inefficient civil services in Nigeria

    24 hours.

    That’s how long it takes a bank in Nigeria to replace and activate a customer’s missing or expired ATM card.

    This service is typically offered for free or for as little as N1000.

    Note:  ATM cards have microchips embedded on them.  This means they can be validated by computer devices.

    24 hours.

    That is the length of time it takes a Telco to replace a customer’s missing or damaged SIM card. This service is typically offered for as little as N100.

    Note: Like ATM cards, SIM cards have integrated circuit embedded on it.

    The above scenarios illustrate some services offered by private sector institutions in Nigeria.

    Now, let’s take a look at similar services provided by the Public sector (that is, government-supervised institutions).

    3 months.

    That is how long it takes to obtain or renew a Driver’s license in Nigeria.

    The Drivers license is in the form of a tacky and poorly printed low-grade PVC card.

    Officially, they say it costs N6500 to procure a driver’s license in Nigeria. However, that reality only  exist in the imagination of the issuing authorities. 

    Everyone else, but them, get to pay nothing less than N25, 000 to obtain a fresh Driver’s license in Nigeria. Or N18000 for a renewal.

    4 years (or Forever!)

    That is how long it takes to obtain a Voter’s Card.

    The Voter’s Card is a basic, low-grade PVC.  The holder’s information is poorly printed on it. No microchip is embedded on it. 

    No fee is attached to obtaining one.  However, to produce them, the government – through INEC – typically spends an obscene amount of money.

    These amounts typically runs into tens of billions.

    A lifetime.

    That is the length of time it takes to obtain a National ID card in Nigeria.

    It has no microchip or a biometric feature. It is typically tacky and printed on low-grade PVCs.

    It is free to obtain, though billions of Naira are expended to produce and distribute them.

    3 Weeks to 1 Month.

    In this computer and Internet age, that is the length of time that it takes the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to return a result for a company name search.

    Meanwhile, it takes about 30 seconds for some online services to return a result for a web name, or e-mail address search from a database of over 1 billion existing subscribers.

    Other notable examples include international passport (1 Month), pre-paid meter (a lifetime), C of O (forever), etc.

    Moral of the story: In Nigeria, never expect prompt or quality service delivery from government-supervised institutions!

    Sadly, it  is deliberate.

    The provision of services  in the public sector in Nigeria are intentionally made protracted and rigorous by civil servants.

    They wilfully institute bottlenecks along the way  with one aim in mind: To frustrate patrons in order to create avenues for extortions.

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