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It's funny.  Laugh.

Bill Gates Denied Visa To Nigeria 405

Xight notes a Gizmodo story that is a few days old but hasn't gotten a lot of play. It seems that Nigeria recently denied Bill Gates a visa to travel there on his recent trip to Africa. The initial denial was "on the premise that they required proof he would not reside in Nigeria indefinitely, causing a strain on social services and a general nuisance for immigration." The comments to the post are worth reading too.
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Bill Gates Denied Visa To Nigeria

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  • Misreading (Score:5, Funny)

    by psychicsword ( 1036852 ) * <The@nOSPam.psychicsword.com> on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:03PM (#20971009)
    Wow I miss read that one...
    I read it as "Bill Gates Denies Vista for Nigeria"
    They would be very lucky if that was the case
    • by jmpeax ( 936370 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:56PM (#20971267)
      I read it as "Bill Gates denies Viagra".

      Then again, it is 5:55am here and I have just finished an essay.
      • by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 ) on Sunday October 14, 2007 @01:36AM (#20971705) Journal
        The comments attached to the article are great

        windows 98...shame on you
        windows Me...shame on me
        windows vista...GTFO of our country


        Funniest think I've read all week
        • Re:Misreading (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2007 @05:18AM (#20972469)
          What makes it even funnier is that the son of the President of Nigeria, an overweight whiner named Dare Obasanjo [25hoursaday.com], actualy works for Microsoft. Indeed, Billy boy consulted him [25hoursaday.com] before going to Nigeria to learn about the political climate there. (Nigeria is currently the most corrupt [ogiek.org] country in Africa).

          Some background: Dare uses his father's political power as an excuse to act like an ass in the halls of the Borg - you may remember the amusing Flame War [25hoursaday.com] between him and Al Billings. (Al Billings is a whiner who can't get anything of value done (cf Netcaptor/Borgzilla/MSN Explorer), probably blames it on management, and unfortunately now does QA work at Firefox). Because he "isn't afraid to criticize" (ie shouts louder than everyone else) Dare Obasanjo has a reputation as being exactly the forward thinking kind of guy who might bring new revenue streams to Micro$oft, instead of what he actually is, a loudmouth frat boy type living off his father's name.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Nigeria is currently the most corrupt country in Africa

            So maybe Bill Gates just didn't pay enough bribe?
          • by Bloke down the pub ( 861787 ) on Sunday October 14, 2007 @06:58AM (#20972807)

            the son of the President of Nigeria, an overweight whiner named Dare Obasanjo [25hoursaday.com], actualy works for Microsoft.
            Does he have a shedload of money in a locked bank account, by any chance?
          • by mrjacques ( 646975 ) on Sunday October 14, 2007 @07:28AM (#20972929) Homepage
            "...a loudmouth frat boy type living off his father's name." Hey, tell him he could be President of the U.S.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by yuriyg ( 926419 )
            Not to defend anyone (since I don't know anything about Nigerian politics anyway), but according to wikipedia, Dare Obasanjo [wikipedia.org], is the son of the FORMER president of Nigeria. The current president is Umaru Yar'Adua [wikipedia.org].
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Lord Kano ( 13027 )
            I used to work with a guy from Zambia, otherwise I would know nothing of Pan African politics, and he told me that Nigerians aren't trusted ANYWHERE in Africa. It's even reflected in the immigration policies of other countries. For example, if my friend from Zambia wanted to visit south africa. They'd give him a Visa good for six months, if a Nigerian wants to visit they'll give him a Visa for five days.

            It's not just funny that they denied his Visa, it's a slap in the face that a country that is so universa
      • by pbhj ( 607776 ) on Sunday October 14, 2007 @06:14PM (#20976755) Homepage Journal
        Wow if you read that as "viagra" what the hell did you write in your essay?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by localman ( 111171 )
      I read the exact same thing. I guess my mind has grown some pretty gnarly auto-complete kruft :)
    • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) * on Sunday October 14, 2007 @01:18AM (#20971637) Journal
      I read it as "Bill Gates Denies Vista for Nigeria"

      Yeah, me too. Of course, after reading the title correctly, I am left wondering:

      Why does Bill Gates need a Visa? Isn't he rich enough to pay with cash? Surely he qualifies for an American Express Card! Master Card, Diners Club, Discover? Visa can't be his only option!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Cylix ( 55374 )
        I think the reason here is fairly obvious.

        He really isn't going to earn them much in interest charges. Unless the man is lazy whipping his accountants I do believe he will be quite on time with the FULL payment. This is really rather dreadful and such they did the proper course of action.

        No Bill, no visa for you today, but perhaps he will have good luck with that Diners Club card! Unfortunately, I believe the 7-11 here will probably write the letters LOL on a sheet of paper before pointing toward the door.
  • by Megane ( 129182 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:03PM (#20971011) Homepage

    "Bill Gates denied Vista to Nigeria"

    For a moment I wondered if Microsoft was trying to do something about 419 scams.

    • by edwardpickman ( 965122 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:24PM (#20971093)
      Actually it was. Bill Gates was trying to go there to personally pick up his 10 mill for helping some one transfer money out of the country.
    • by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:25PM (#20971099) Homepage
      A friend of a friend (OK, so this is probably just a joke...) is entering Australia for an extended work contract, and the immigration official asks him if he has ever been convicted of a crime in his country of origin. He replied, "I didn't realize that was still a requirement for entry."

      If it's not a true story, it should be.
      • by porpnorber ( 851345 ) on Sunday October 14, 2007 @01:18AM (#20971635)

        My Dad was once going to the States from Canada. The border guard asked him if he was carrying firearms. He replied, "My God, is it really that bad here? Do you seriously recommend it?"

        While I thought it was funny, I will also admit that I didn't think it was the brightest thing to say at that time and place... but I guess clergy can get away with some things.

      • by mcsporran ( 832624 ) on Sunday October 14, 2007 @02:26AM (#20971861)
        Don't do this.... Customs guys are not known for their sense of humour, particularly when it is an offensive joke, that they've heard literally thousands of times before.
        I know of one English guy, who told me of his arrival in the country, where his friend had filled out the criminal record question on the immigration form, with exactly that: "I didn't think you needed one any more...". Customs took one look at it, he got taken off for a private interview, and ended up heading back to Heathrow the same day.

        Thousands of £'s to see the inside of Sydney airport, can't come back for years, holiday they had planned for years ruined.

        Pretty funny huh ?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by canuck57 ( 662392 )

          You need to choose the right time to wise-crack them. Only ever had one opportunity and took it.

          Needed to renew a TN-1 visa. While entering Canada, grinding her teeth she asked "What is your purpose of visiting Canada?" My reply, "To turn around and get hell back out.". She promptly said go and watched as I did. Hey, what was she going to do? Kick me out?

          I suspect she called the US side and told them about me. I was in and out with my new TN-1 in a record 7 minutes.

        • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Sunday October 14, 2007 @08:39AM (#20973243) Homepage

          Don't do this.... Customs guys are not known for their sense of humour

          Oh, they're known for their sense of humour alright. Its just not the sort of sense of humour you want to be on the butt end of.

  • by wanderingknight ( 1103573 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:04PM (#20971013)
    ...is if he plans to give away Vista CDs.
    • ...is if he plans to give away Vista CDs.
      Don't tell me -- he's so desperate that he hired the AOL PR crew to increase the market for Vista?!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:07PM (#20971019)
    I know he's rich, but does he really have the power to deny credit cards to entire countries?
  • My Dearest (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bluesman ( 104513 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:13PM (#20971041) Homepage
    Bill Gates my Dear,

    we are deeply grateful sorry to not be approval of your visa into the country of Nigeria. The reasons for not doing so are abundant in nature. Please to rectify the following dear concerns we have:

    1) ur dick is 2 small. This pleases no Nigerian woman and is offensive toward the women. You think having average sized cock is OK? Regards, no.

    2) we believe for you want to reside in Nigeria indefinitely, causing a strain on social services and a general nuisance for immigration. If this is not your meaningful wish, offer to us a letter in explanation.

    3) You aren't really want to come to Nigeria, no? Tell us who you, in reality, are in person.

    Nigerian customs will make you a real man!

    Very Regards,
    Nigerian Immigration.

    • Re:My Dearest (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bluesman ( 104513 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:25PM (#20971103) Homepage
      Troll? Oh come on now, Nigerian moderators! Have a sense of humor.

      You know, I try to only post funny stuff now, and every negative mod I get brings the ol' karma down, since the funny mods, like goggles in acid, do nothing.

      Once that karma hits zero, I'm taking my ball and leaving, and you all will be left with nothing but Monty Python quotes and Soviet Russia and Overlord jokes.

      • Well it wasn't actually very funny.

        And with a UID as low as yours, if you're truly worried about hitting zero karma - what the hell do you DO? I maxed my karma out years ago and it's never been an issue for me.
        • I'm not worried about my karma, I'm sure it's maxed out, or close to. And if it's not funny, mod something else up that is, don't throw a Troll mod on there when it's not.

          It is kind of sad that funny doesn't get you points though. There's really not a whole lot of insight flying around on here anymore, but some of the posts are really damn funny. That should be encouraged.

          But I digress. Mod this offtopic and overrated.

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:14PM (#20971047) Journal

    Hello, My Name is Bill Gates. Due to a recent administrative difficulty with the government of Nigeria, I himbly beseach your assistance in helping to move my $40,000,000,000 ass there. I will be so kind as to deposit a portion of this money in the account of your specification. Your assistance in this matter great isly apreciated, your servant, Bill Gates.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 14, 2007 @12:57AM (#20971553)
      From: billgates@microsoft.com
      X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1106
      X-Mimeole: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2800.1106
      Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2007 16:11:04 +0000

      Dear friend,

        This letter might come to you as a surprise as we have not met
      before,but I believe that you would be compelled to help me after
      going through the contents of this letter.

      My name is William Henry Gates III, borned October 28, 1955. I am a
      American entrepreneur, philantropist and chairman of Microsoft,
      a american software companny.

      Basically, I was involved in maintaining my statusquo as the richest
      man in the world until August (2007), when a Mexican bilionaire called
      Carlos Slim surpassed my wealthy in (1) billion american
      dolars. He (Carlos Slim) did not stop at that; he also went on to
      afirm that his monopoly would be larger than mine.

      As at this momemt, I have grudgingly gone to Nigeria, in disguise, to
      undertake seizure of a hiden part of my fortune, totalling an extra USD
      $28,750,000,000 (twenty eight billion, seven hundred and fifty million
      United State Dolars) that I obtained from several russian organizations
      for facilitating scams, trojans and keyloggers business in Windows(tm)
      systems. However, since I must fake otherwise, I can only
      unlock the money in the local branch of my bank in Abuja, but I cannot
      take the money back with me.

      Hopefully, however, I can use the services of a Diplomatic Courier to move
      this money (registered as official docments) out of Nigeria to America.

      All you need to do is to claim this money from the Courier Company. You will
      be required to contact the Courier Company that moved this money (oficial
      documents) out of Nigeria to America. All neccesaries which can facilitate
      andn enable you claim the money on my behalf will be forwarded to you as
      soon as your consent to procced is received.

      For your assistance, you will be entitled to 20% of the total sum. This is
      over US $5,000,000,000 (five billion United State Dolars) for you, my friend.

      Can you help me? Are you trustworthy? Can you handle this money? Are
      you capable of handling this money? If so, please contact me.
      I will send instructions on how you must make a (symbolic) small initial
      deposit by Western Union or MoneyGram (at your personal choice) to the Courier
      company which will be promptly returned to you, just to prove that you have
      a working bank account that can receive the aforementioned large sum of money.

      Please send me your account details and address so that we can make this
      whole transaction as quick as possible.

      Your sincerely,
      Mr. William Henry Gates (the third)
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
        Basically, I was involved in maintaining my statusquo as the richest
        man in the world until August (2007), when a Mexican bilionaire called
        Carlos Slim surpassed my wealthy in (1) billion american
        dolars. He (Carlos Slim) did not stop at that; he also went on to
        afirm that his monopoly would be larger than mine.


        Month ago it was proven Carlos' claim was unfounded. Bill Gates still *is* the richest man on Earth.
  • by deathtopaulw ( 1032050 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:16PM (#20971053) Homepage
    who could possibly want to stay in nigeria indefinitely?
  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:17PM (#20971063)

    The initial denial was "on the premise that they required proof he would not reside in Nigeria indefinitely,..."

    This kind of language is what [African] applicants for US visas face when denied US visas at the many US visa posts across the continent. I guess it cuts both ways.

    • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:29PM (#20971125)
      I guess it cuts both ways.

      Yeah, other than the whole part where "he donates billions of dollars for health care and education" in that miserable country and its continent. Yes, there's SUCH a risk of him being a strain on their social services. African applicants for US visas face reality when they apply to come to the US. Nigeria denying Gates a visa isn't even remotely the same thing, and suggesting that it is cheapens the work and patience that would-be immigrants to the US have to show if they're not going to be illegal.
    • Canadian perspective (Score:5, Interesting)

      by freeweed ( 309734 ) on Sunday October 14, 2007 @12:21AM (#20971397)
      Yeah, I tend to get grilled heading across the border. The US border guards seem to think my plan is to sneak in, and live in the US permanently.

      Seriously. Dude. I'm already a citizen of CANADA. Don't flatter yourselves.

      (note for the humour-impaired: I actually did consider the move before 9/11 - but today?? It's hard not to laugh at the border when they accuse me of this.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by _Spirit ( 23983 )
        Yeah, I've found that pointing stuff like this out to them doesn't generally expedite the process of going through immigrations though...
    • This kind of language is what [African] applicants for US visas face when denied US visas at the many US visa posts across the continent. I guess it cuts both ways.
      The thing is, when Americans say it to them, Nigerians get pissed. When they say it to Americans, Americans laugh.

  • get real (Score:5, Interesting)

    by m2943 ( 1140797 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:18PM (#20971065)
    "Bill Gates" isn't exactly an unusual name, and if he didn't submit the right paperwork, of course it gets denied; even if you're an evil, monopolistic overlord billionaire, you still have to prove your identity and your financial status. It's either that, or use the backdoors in Windows to approve the paperwork himself, which I guess amounts to the same thing.

    (I suspect that his notoriety is kind of a nuisance for other people with that name, who probably have to deal with "stop clowning around, what's your real name" a lot. It's probably kind of nice that Nigeria treats the name as just a name).

    On the other hand, maybe they just correctly reasoned through that Gates was retiring in 2008, that Windows is having problems, and that his company definitely is being an economic nuisance to Nigeria already.
  • Nigerian economics (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The_church_of_funzie ( 940003 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:19PM (#20971071)
    Someone was just looking for a bribe, that's all.
    Nigerian economy is in a crapper.
  • Wha huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jarjarthejedi ( 996957 ) <christianpinch AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:20PM (#20971077) Journal
    What in the world? Okay, this is just plain weird. First that they would deny Bill Gates a visa, I mean, unlike what many /.er's seem to think he's not exactly an evil guy or anything, it's not like he tortures puppies for fun or something. Second what kind of lame excuse is that they offered? I highly doubt Bill has any plans to move permanently to Nigeria (no offense to Nigeria but it's not quite the same as the US in terms of high end services) and that he would be a burden on social services is absurd, he's one of the richest people in the world, how could he strain social services?

    This is by far one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen...
  • by Lachrymite ( 115440 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:20PM (#20971081)
    As an American who actually worked in Nigeria for awhile a few years ago, I can tell you what the problem may have very well been; he probably didn't give the proper cash "donations" to the right people.

    I actually had some problems with getting in myself that my employer had specifically prepared me to deal with, giving me a supply of local cash and instructions to use it liberally to ease my travel process. 500 Naira in the right hands turned the officials from meddlesome and probing to very welcoming in record time.
    • 500 NGN is like ... 4 USD. Are you kidding me? That's not even a real bribe!
      • by Lachrymite ( 115440 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:28PM (#20971117)
        The entire problem with corruption stems from the average Nigerian government worker making the equivalent of maybe 50 USD per month. Because of this, bribery runs rampant, as they have a lot of trouble surviving on such a low salary with such supplementary income.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jesterzog ( 189797 )

          The entire problem with corruption stems from the average Nigerian government worker making the equivalent of maybe 50 USD per month. Because of this, bribery runs rampant, as they have a lot of trouble surviving on such a low salary with such supplementary income.

          Although the cost of living is (presumably) much lower there, and you can bet that a typical government worker in any position that deals with foreigners will probably be on a salary that's a lot better than average. I do agree with you, though

        • by mangu ( 126918 )
          Look what Robert Heinlein had to say about corruption:

          "No matter how lavishly overpaid, civil servants everywhere are convinced that they are horribly underpaid - but all public employees have larceny in their hearts or they wouldn't be feeding at the public through. These two facts are all you need - but be careful! - a public employee, having no self-respect, needs and demands a show of public respect." ("Friday", 1982)

          If you have to pay, it must be the right amount, given in the right way. Corruption ha

    • by SlappyBastard ( 961143 ) on Sunday October 14, 2007 @01:18AM (#20971639) Homepage

      Does anyone recall an article from a while back about the audit of the budget for the movie Sahara? In the tax write-offs for the film (which was mostly shot in North Africa, not Nigeria) the producers actually wrote down "bribes" as an itemized deduction.

      Oddly, US tax laws include some leeway for writing off donations in handling business elsewhere in the world. Just, very few people overtly itemize the deduction as bribery. Although, that is what the deduction does.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:21PM (#20971083)
    The BBC is now reporting that Bill Gates has purchased the entire country of Nigeria. According to insider sources massive restructuring will occur in order to bring the property back into profitability. Layoffs are expected.
  • 419 (Score:2, Funny)

    by orkysoft ( 93727 )
    Maybe they suspect he is actually looking for assistance in retrieving his significant fortune from the security company, where it is guarded by a mad chair-throwing bald man.
  • They just had to make sure Ballmer wasn't coming along- there is a chair shortage there.
    It also gave them time to gather the hardcopies of their latest 419 scam^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hbusiness proposal for him to peruse.

    All the nefarious world LOVES Bill and his sterling OS- once they found out that he wasn't denying Vista (as others have already joked about), the red carpet us rolled out: "Welcome MS!!! May our SPAM and phishes be your SPAM and phishes!!! BTW, got any spare botnets with you? Help us out, bro!"
  • by HexaByte ( 817350 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:28PM (#20971115)
    The actual problem was that he was going there to get a return of the money he lost in a 419 scam, and taking 2.5 billion out of the Nigerian economy would be a drain on services and a nuisance to all the officials who took bribes as a part of the scam.

  • You are creating a visa. Cancel/Allow.
  • by Samir Gupta ( 623651 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:46PM (#20971207) Homepage
    Most citizens of Africa and indeed, any "developing" country, have very difficult times obtaining US visas. The presumption of US visa officers is that you are an intending immigrant unless you show otherwise, ie, guilty unless proven innocent. Even if one provides paperwork like financial statements, etc, they are often thought to be forged, even if not. It all boils down to a quick interview of a couple of minutes at most where the officer has to review all documents and make a snap decision.

    I guess Nigeria just wanted to give the US a taste of its own medicine.
    • It's not just visa officers: U.S. immigration law assumes that all who set foot on U.S. soil seeking admission to the country are intending immigrants, until proven otherwise.

      Visa requirements are very much a tit-for-tat affair. If people from Country A need a visa to visit Country B, Country A will insist on a visa for visitors from Country B.

      ...laura who need a visa for Turkey last year, because Turks need a visa to visit Canada

    • by akintayo ( 17599 )
      Or maybe he did not submit the required paperwork, as alluded to in the article ?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shihar ( 153932 )
      Giving a guy who is about to dump a few billion dollars into your nation "a taste of their own medicine" is by far the stupidest idea I can possibly think of. I don't rate Nigeria's government all that high in terms of competency, but unless the winners of the special Olympics have taken over the nation, I doubt this is some veiled attempt at diplomacy.

      I am pretty sure Nigeria doesn't have a big problem with Americans illegally immigrating into the nation. The most likely reason for this is simply that so
  • by Samir Gupta ( 623651 ) on Saturday October 13, 2007 @11:55PM (#20971257) Homepage
    Was Nigeria using signed ints to indicate an applicant's financial status? I could see Bill's balance causing an overflow and appearing in the negatives leading to misinterpretation...
  • ...lobbyists in Nigeria demanding more H1B visa workers.
  • ...they never got the millions of dollars they expected after forwarding all those messages about Bill Gates sharing his fortune. [snopes.com]

  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Sunday October 14, 2007 @12:59AM (#20971573) Journal
    They're afraid that if they let him work in their country, he'll take jobs away from other billionaires.
  • by SuluSulu ( 1039126 ) on Sunday October 14, 2007 @01:01AM (#20971579) Homepage
    Give visa to Bill Gates? Cancel or Allow?
  • You can't take a dump in Nigeria without slipping a twenty to some joker. Nigeria is so thoroughly corrupt that they make a Bush-Cheney fundraiser look like a candy bar sale for your local high school chorus.
  • No big deal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Black Copter Control ( 464012 ) <[samuel-local] [at] [bcgreen.com]> on Sunday October 14, 2007 @01:28AM (#20971675) Homepage Journal
    Not everybody in Nigeria is necessarily going to know who Bill Gates is -- and even somebody who did would probably look at the name and presume that (since it wasn't handled at the diplomatic level), this must refer to some other Bill Gates than the one we (here on slashdot) love to hate.

    "and besides -- if it really is that Bill gates:
    1. It should be easy enough to prove that he won't be a mooch on Nigerian social services, and
    2. He has enough money to pay some lackey to handle this for him.
    ... and then, there's the geek factor of being able to say that "I told Bill Gates that he was too cheap to let into Nigeria."
  • ...if you were planning on expanding an African-named Linux distro on the African continent. Ubuntu comes to mind. But Ubuntu could become a total non-starter in Africa due to the efforts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    So maybe the Nigerians were just trying to nip that IT monoculture in the bud.
  • by The Mutant ( 167716 ) on Sunday October 14, 2007 @02:03AM (#20971777) Homepage
    I'm in banking, used to work for the Professional Services division of one of the ratings agencies, and at that firm I was the only person willing to travel to Nigeria.

    Even considering the people living there are doing the best they can with what they got - I have a lot of respect for the dignity of the ordinary Nigerians just getting on with life - it's a pretty crappy place.

    My last two visits there THE POLICE tried to rob me, each time. And ordinary crime is far more pervasive and violent. Recently I read about an armed gang that raided a hotel lobby, fully knowing there would be business visitors checking in & out, with luggage, expensive laptops, mobile phones, cash and passports.

    South and East of Lagos in the Niger Delta region, Europeans and Americans must travel with very heavy security, as abductions for ransom are appallingly common, to the point where we were issued cards with instructions for how our abductors could arrange payment. They aren't going to harm you, for many of the gangs operating there it's just a business! Killing is bad business. Returning live hostages yields cash.

    Finally, there is a large North / South - Christian / Muslim divide, lots of tension that often erupts into violence.

    If Bill Gates was really denied a visa to visit Nigeria, this was more than likely based on fears for his safety and how embarrassing it would be for Nigeria should one of the world's richest men be held for a Software Magnates ransom.

    PS - While Africa's most populous country is hardly peaceful and not at all safe, I found it a strangely beautiful and compelling place.
  • Funny? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Sunday October 14, 2007 @02:14AM (#20971823) Homepage Journal
    No, not really. Finally someone actually enforces their laws. Bill should get no more special treatment over anyone else.
  • by shinmai ( 632532 ) <aapo@saaristo.gmail@com> on Sunday October 14, 2007 @03:07AM (#20971997) Homepage
    I went throught exactly the same thing when I went to Switzerland to study there for a year when I was a teen. They denied me a visa because they were afraid I'd stay there indefinitely. What I did was just stay there for two months at a time, then visit Germany for a few days to reset my turist-visa and come back. Every two weeks or so the immigration office would call my grandparents place (I was staying with them, they've been living there for like 30 years or something) and ask if we had any illegal aliens living in our house. They apparently still harrass my grandparents from time to time, even though both have changed their nationality to Swiss..

    I kind of understand why this kind of thing would be a problem for a country like Switzerland, where in Zürich alone 20% of the population is of foreign descent, but how much of an incoming immigration problem does Nigeria really have?

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