The Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Amb. Lot Egopija has assured Nigerians in the U.S. that he will remove all encumbrances on accessing passports at the consulate.
Egopija, who gave the assurance when he received the Executive Members of Egbe Omo Yoruba of Greater New York in his office, said a passport racketeering team had been apprehended.
The Nigerian envoy said that he had been working to ensure smooth services for Nigerians and to remove corruption in the passport processes.
The consul-general advised Nigerians against giving incentives to anybody before accessing any services in the consulate.
“Sometimes, our people have not also done well. They tend to want to give incentives to staff and that is part of the problem but we’re covering that now.
“Only yesterday, when we started this new way of thinking (new approach to consular issues), we apprehended a racketeering team; this team is based in Baltimore (Maryland).
“Baltimore is not within our jurisdiction; they will do processing over there and they linked up with someone I term self-appointed Liaison who had his wings in the consulate.
“We have apprehended them and the staff that was compromised too and we have assured Nigerians that you don’t need to know anyone, they can obtain services without additional incentive,” he said.
The consul-general told his guests that the mission had been coping with an avalanche of Nigerians coming from other parts of the U.S, beyond the consulate’s jurisdiction for passport services.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian consulate in New York renders consular services to 20 states in the U.S.
They are: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Ohio, Indiana, Connecticut, Illinois, Rhode Island, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Winconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Minnesota.
Similarly, the consulate in Atlanta renders consular services to 20 states in the U.S. while the Embassy of Nigeria in Washington, DC caters to 10 states and the Washington, DC.
According to him, the mission in New York now renders consular services to Nigerians from Atlanta and Washington, DC jurisdictions.
“Their coming here puts additional pressure on us but we are not complaining.