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This disclosure was made by the Permanent Secretary of Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Gabriel Aduda, in New York during a meeting organised by the Consulate-General of Nigeria in New York for nationals residing in the jurisdiction. Ambassador Aduda also noted that talks are ongoing with courier companies that will be responsible for delivering passports at the doorsteps of Nigerians abroad.
‘We have started with a new innovation and we are trying to keep Nigerians from travelling to missions for passport renewal. We are already talking with some courier companies that will pick passports to the applicants’ doorsteps when they have made all the necessary payments and fill the forms online. We don’t want them to come to the missions anymore; it will be delivered to them and we have four Consulates to pilot the innovation.’ Amb. Gabriel AdudaAmong other issues discussed, Aduda stated that the backlogs of passports were influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that other countries were equally affected.
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‘In London alone, they had a shortfall of 19,000 passports and they tried to cover the lost ground. Initially, 10,000 passports were injected and we put more until they were cleared. The same thing in New York, Washington D.C., and Atlanta; we have a huge gap that we are still ready to fill. Also, back home in Nigeria, it is the same problem. People applied for passports for months but they could not get them because the booklets were not available. But as I speak, a lot is being done to cover the gaps.’ AdudaCommenting further, the diplomatic chief urged Nigerians residing in the US to be of good conduct and advised that they engage more with Consulate officials. He also revealed that there is the possibility of reopening the country’s mission in San Francisco and opening a new mission in Texas because of the Nigerian population residing in the territory.
‘We are mindful that we need to cover the U.S. a bit more because of your size. We are considering reopening the Francisco mission soon. Perhaps, if need be, we may open a mission in Texas because of the huge population of Nigerians residing there but we will pay attention to San Francisco for now. Let us see how we can reduce traffic coming from the West to New York, Atlanta and Washington, DC. So we are working hard to get it done.’ AdudaAduda assured Nigerians of the Consulate’s commitment towards making things easy for them and asked for their support. Source Guardian NG Featured Image Source: NPO Reports
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