By Cecilia Ologunagba
The Nigerian Consulate General in New York has announced that it is making arrangements to register Nigerians under its jurisdiction with the National Identification Number (NIN) in accordance with the Federal Government’s directive.
Egopija said the consulate received a directive from headquarters (Federal Foreign Ministry) to register its nationals.
The Nigerian envoy said the consulate will soon enter into agreements with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
Egopija recalled that when he took office a few months ago, he pledged to have regular interactive sessions with Nigerians to get their feedback and update them with developments at the consulate.
He said the consulate has improved services in the areas of passport issuance, issuance of passports and also in the processing of passport and visa documents.
“We were able to reduce the waiting hours and we took our nationals off the streets. Before now, we used to have our nationals stroll around the building.
“But we have created a waiting room to welcome our nationals and give them a new lease of life in which they feel they belong at Nigeria House.
“We have also improved our consular services in the area of information dissemination by modernizing our website and making it more user-friendly.
“In addition, we have opened a WhatsApp platform to disseminate information to all members of associations registered with the consulate to ensure timely communication,” he said.
Egopija said the consulate is working with the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to obtain enough passport books to meet the needs of Nigerians under New York jurisdiction.
He said the office had improved its mail services and was working with a telephone company to reconfigure a direct phone line so that any Nigerian could call and receive an answer immediately.
The Nigerian envoy explained that the consulate would engage in cultural diplomacy aimed at promoting the image of Nigeria by organizing cultural shows, saying “we must export our culture”.
Regarding trade and investment, Egopija said it is in talks with the New York Chamber of Commerce and will expand it to other chambers of commerce in the United States to strengthen trade relations between the Nigeria and the host country.
“Nigerians deserve the best from us and we will always give the best to Nigerians,” he said.
Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Professor Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, said it was important to interact with compatriots to better inform them of efforts to better serve them and to get their feedback.
“Whenever an agency deliberately sets out to improve their services, they are to be commended and I am happy to participate in this interactive session,” he said.
Likewise, a Nigerian community leader, Mr. Francis James, praised the Consul General for his accomplishments in just three months in office, especially the transformation he had made to bring about positive change.
“When we see opportunities for change, we need to work together and give those who really want to make that change an opportunity to deliver.
“I have seen huge improvements over the past three months, far more than what we have seen in the past five years. Ambassador Lot is a man of his word.
“He realized that to serve better he had to engage with relevant stakeholders and he started by engaging some representatives of the Nigerian communities led by the Organization for the Advancement of Nigerians,” the official said. .
James also praised the Consul General for resolving the issues of Nigerians hanging out in Nigeria’s house.
“I don’t take these achievements for granted because Egopija can stay five years and do nothing. I am happy to tell Nigerians that we have the opportunity to make a difference.
“We want what is happening in New York to be replicated in our other missions around the world.
“Dialogue produces better and lasting solutions than protests,” he said. (NAA)
Short Link: https://wp.me/pcj2iU-3Big