Finally in Abuja, had to hit the ground running as there’s lots to do. I made a list of all the organisations I wanted to work with, submitted the proposals and 2 weeks later I was ready to follow up all of them.
The Submission Stage:
This stage is straightforward – go to the organisation, explain why you’re there, they direct you to the registry office, your letter is recorded and stamped, your copy letter is also stamped and you go on your way.
Side note for the unfamiliar: If you want to do business with any organisation in Nigeria it’s always best to go with the original proposal or introductory letter and a copy of the proposal/introductory letter.
This is because the registry office will record your letter in a book ledger, stamp both letters and return your stamped copy letter to you. Why a book ledger, you ask? Well, how else will they be able drive you mad unless by using an ancient system that makes no sense. As ridiculous as it may seem, do not under any circumstances lose your stamped copy. Don’t do it, unless you’re no longer interested in working with the organisation. If you do lose the letter, you’ll have to start all over again. The never ending loop that will have you pulling your hair out like a crazy person (you see that picture below? Yes that!). Abeg, don’t say I didn’t warn you o!
The Proposal chasing Stage aka the FFS Stage:
There are lots of public organisations here in high-rise buildings and only a few of them have lifts; this means that there’s lots of walking because the offices of decision makers are never on the first 3 floors.
I had an experience where I went to the registry office to follow up my proposal and I was advised it had been passed to another registry office (yes, there’s more than one). I got there and no one was around so I had to wait and wait, and wait.
One of the security guards had to help locate the person in charge of that office but I ended up waiting for 2 hours to then be told that my letter was passed to another office, got to the 3rd office, waited for another 30 minutes and was directed to yet another office – you’re thinking why did I wait, right? I wanted it to be over and done with, didn’t fancy doing that again!!
Anyway, I then got to 4th office (you read right, 4th), and the staff there were very busy making jewellery and chatting to their friends. I patiently explained to them what I wanted and I was looked on like an inconvenience. The lady actually gave me the ‘how dare you interrupt me with your nonsense and expect me to do my job’ look. I longed to strangle her with her badly made necklace…ok, maybe the necklace wasn’t bad but how could I appreciate beauty when I was trying to suppress murderous thoughts whilst giving a sweet smile on the outside.
I spent about 6 hours in heels, walking round a building with no power and sweat dripping down my back and my face…with one nagging question – seriously though, why the f*** do they record letters in book ledgers when they have computers on their desk???