By Cecilia Ologunagba
Amb. Lot Egopija, the new Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, says consular activities have picked up at the consulate after some disruptions brought about by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Egopija told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in New York that with the opening up of activities in the U.S. and the country’s vaccination drive, the consulate was also improving on the level of its services.
The Nigerian envoy regretted that the pandemic impacted negatively on activities of the consulate.
“However, with the opening up and with host government vaccine drive, the society is opening up and we are also improving on the level of services we render.
“We have beginning to have Nigerians who would have come during the lockdown to review their passports, to apply for one document renewal and all that.
“They are now coming here so we are making ways to accommodate and to ensure their services within given period so that they don’t spend the whole day.
“For instance, we have to deal with as many as between 80 and 100 plus people everyday,’’ he said.
The consul-general said that consular activities at the consulate were reduced by about 30 to 40 per cent due to the pandemic.
“As part of COVID-19 measures, we are opening up the second floor of Nigeria House so as to reduce the crowd at the reception.
“Nigerians will begin to use that place as soon as possible,’’ he said.
Egopija also said Nigeria would continue to abide by the rules of the host country, adding that it would do everything possible to ensure the laws are respected.
He said Nigeria would continue to collaborate with the U.S., especially in the area of trade and investment.
“Aside from dealing with consular issues, attending to every Nigerian in real time, we would also be focusing on trade.
He said “Pursuing investment into Nigeria and that will help boost and accelerate our economy even as we begin to get out of COVID-19 situation.”
NAN reports that Egopija took over on April 30 from Amb. Benaoyagha Okoyen, who is currently Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cuba. (NAN)
•PHOTO: Nigeria’s Consul-General in New York, Amb. Lot Egopija