How it works:
- Situation: there are both “good” and “bad” officers and there have been efforts to clamp down on corruption on this front. Below are some potential scenarios that may occur.
- Version 1 (airport official): at the airport, you may be asked to show a yellow vaccine certification even when there is no need to (e.g. you enter Nigeria from a country where there is no yellow fever/no requirement for your country). If you don’t have one, you will be hinted for a bribe.
- Version 2 (police officer): stopping you and claiming that you have broken a law when you have not (e.g. for possessing something that is not illegal). A fine will then be demanded.
- Version 3 (checkpoint officer): at the various checkpoints, you will invariably be asked a version of “what do you have for me today”?
Places to beware:
What to do:
- Follow all laws: e.g. get your vaccination if you have to, etc.
- Tactics (make yourself difficult): buy time by pretending not to understand the local language, be creative and talk nonsense back, ask for a receipt, to pay at a police station, etc.
- Negotiate: if those fail, negotiate the bribe.