Passport: Be wary of middlemen, Nigerian envoy advises nationals

The Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Amb. Lot Egopija has advised Nigerians living in the US. against using middlemen to process their passports and other documents in the missions.

Egopija gave the advice at a hybrid 9th Town Hall Meeting with the Nigerian Community within New York Jurisdiction held at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Dominion Cathedral, Orange, New Jersey.

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The envoy said the Consulate opposed using middlemen as that might be a reason why some nationals experience delays in receiving their passports.

“If you have any query about passport application, please, call us or send an e-mail to us. We respond to e-mails within 48 hours, so you don’t need to go through middlemen,’’ he said.

Egopija said the Consulate would do everything to ensure that the nationals within its jurisdiction continued to enjoy better services.

“We have been doing everything to ensure that Nigerians who visit the Consulate get desired services and also doing our best to address some of the teething problems in the processing of passports.”

He, however, assured the nationals that some of the issues raised during the meeting, especially on timely communication with the Consulate officials and update on passports intervention would be addressed.

“We will work with the community leaders and post some necessary information on the community WhatsApp for our nationals to be well informed about our services.

“Also, feel free to call me on my number and I will attend to you if our call centre is busy,’’ the envoy said.

Egopija recalled that he pledged, in the last Town Hall Meeting, that the 9th edition would be done outside New York City to get feedback from the nationals and update them with developments at the Consulate.

“We also thought that since we work with Nigerians, it will also be necessary for us to meet our nationals and fill their pulse in their various states so that is the reason for holding the meeting in New Jersey,’’ he said.

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The Consulate also sensitised the nationals on the procedure for authenticating documents and made a presentation on the passport application.

Earlier, the President of NIDO, New Jersey Chapter, Dr Adeola Popoola said the chapter had been collaborating with the Consulate to deliver services to Nigerians in the state.

Popoola explained that the chapter remains united and will continue to contribute its quota to the well-being of its members.

“We are not divided; we’re happy to tell you that the organisation stands with the government, we stand with the people, and we hope we can make Nigeria greater in this dispensation.’’

Some nationals who spoke commended the Consulate for its commitment to improving consular services and for holding the Town Hall meeting, which they believed would further increase service delivery.