Nigerians in New York have been reassured by Lot Egopija, the country’s consul general, that their consular needs will be met. He said, “We do not lack passport booklets.”
At the 7th Town Hall Meeting with the Nigerian Community in New York Jurisdiction that was held virtually, Mr. Egopija provided the assurance.
The majority of queries at the meeting were on the acquisition of passports and how to fix errors in passport data discovered during routine operations or intervention exercises.
When asked if applicants could have their passports by December to travel home for Christmas, the envoy responded that there is no longer a shortage of passport booklets.
He claims that those who have completed their biometrics will receive their passports as soon as possible.
“We’re working on all the pending passport applications, but we only asked for your patience and understanding.
“We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that people receive their passports in a timely manner before they begin traveling.”
Mr. Egopija stated that the Consulate was still awaiting additional instructions on the federal government’s new visa policy, which stated that Nigerians with dual citizenship would no longer need visas to visit Nigeria if they choose to fly home with their foreign passports.
On November 11, Rauf Aregbesola, the interior minister, tweeted that the federal government had begun enforcing the new visa rules.
“We would advise you to wait until that policy statement is released because we are still waiting for the government to tell us what we need to do in order to inform our citizens.
“We’d advise you to wait since the government will also need to alert the airlines because, without it, no airline will hire you.
“You should be patient; we should likely receive clarification on that significant announcement in the next several days,” he advised.
Francis James, a community leader from Nigeria who served as the meeting’s moderator, urged Nigerians to plan their passport requirements and apply at least six months before their passports expire.
He claimed that the Consulate had enhanced his services and cited the example of his wife, who had the procedure without requesting help from any staff members.
When you apply early, Mr. James stated, “I’m telling you; you don’t need to know anybody before you will be attended to.”
In addition, Nigerians’ difficulties obtaining the National Identification Number (NIN), which is necessary for processing the new Enhanced E-Passport, were discussed at the discussion.
The difficulties include a lack of knowledge about the necessity of having names on passports and NINs match as well as the procedure for fixing differences when they occur.