By John Ikani
The Nigeria Police Force has hiked the cost of Police Character Certificate (PCC), also known as police clearance, by around 700 per cent to N40,000, from its previous price of N5,000.
PCC is a document issued by the Nigeria Police to certify that an individual does not have criminal record, criminal conviction or is trying to evade prosecution for crimes committed in the country.
The document is largely sought by individuals, mostly youths, travelling out of the country to further their studies or to take up employment; though some organisations in Nigeria sometimes request certain individuals to provide the PCC.
Some organisations in Nigeria also request the certificate before giving employment to applicants.
Heritage Times HT gathered that the 700% hike followed a new directive from the Nigeria Police High Command allegedly given earlier this month, directing the increment of the fees for PCC from N5,000 to N40,000.
The hike comes amid reports that many Nigerians are seeking to leave the country in search of employment abroad owing to a fall in the standard of living and high unemployment rate.
In 2021, Nigeria hit a new record on unemployment rate as a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that unemployment rate climbed to 33.3 percent in the fourth quarter (Q4 2020) from 27.1 percent recorded in Q2 2020.
Persistent level of underinvestment compared to global standards, university strikes, availability of post-study work options, and permanent residency have also boosted the interest of Nigerians seeking education abroad.