By Cecilia Ologunagba
The new Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Amb. Lot Egopija, has pledged to improve consular services particularly to Nigerians and advance trade relations between Nigeria and the host authorities.
Egopija told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York on Monday that his main priority would be to address consular problems and make consular services friendly to Nigerians and other nationals.
He said “Basically, I am not coming up with so many priorities. One is to ensure that services are delivered to all applicants (passport and visa) that will require the services of the consulate.
“When I arrived, we had to address the issue of consular problem, such as overcrowded nature of the lobby.
“Also to ensure that Nigerians who come in to renew their passports get attended to early enough to reduce the attendance time and also to ensure that they have conducive atmosphere during their period in the mission.’’
The envoy thanked Nigerians living in the U.S. for their support in relating with the consulate and their useful advice.
He assured them that the consulate was prepared to offer the best services, noting that Nigerians are always willing to contribute their quota to the development of the country.
“Since my assumption of duty, I have met with some individuals and groups that identify with their homeland and proffering solutions to issues they think needed to be addressed.
“They have warmly received me and we have had useful deliberations on how to improve the image of the consulate.
“I want to commend the individuals and groups that I have met; we will do everything possible to ensure that Nigerians get the best services from the consulate,’’ he said.
In addition, he said the consulate would be having quarterly town hall meetings to brief Nigerians on its activities.
The envoy said the town hall meeting would serve as feedback mechanism, noting that the first quarterly will be in July.
NAN reports that Egopija took over on April 30 from Amb. Benaoyagha Okoyen, who is currently Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cuba.
Edopija joined the Nigerian diplomatic corps in 1993 and had held various posts and positions in Nigeria and abroad.
He has served at the Embassy/Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations in Austria, Embassy of Nigeria, Jakarta, Indonesia and Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations in New York. (NAN)