There was a huge turn-out of Nigerians seeking passport services in Chicago, United States of America (USA) between Thursday, August 26 and Saturday, August 28, 2021 when officials of the Nigerian Consulate, New York, USA stormed the city to intervene in the nagging issue.
Many Nigerians in the US as in several other countries of the world have been having challenges renewing their passports or getting new ones.
The new Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Ambassador Peter Lot Egopija, working round the clock to clear the backlog of applicants seeking passport services in his area of coverage, therefore, moved officials of the Consulate to Chicago for a Passport Intervention Exercise.
They, however, did not bargain for the huge number of people they encountered when they got to the city for the program, a situation that created a new problem of crowd control.
Working from 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM most of the three days they were in Chicago, the officials still could not attend to all those who came forward for one passport related service or the other.
They are said to have attended to about 400 applicants and many more were still outstanding and clamoring to be attended to, but since they could not stay beyond their scheduled time frame in Chicago, they had to leave, but have assured that they will return to the city soon to complete the exercise.
They also assured that those who were attended to would receive their passports within the next four to six weeks in the mail, explaining that the high number of applicants that turned out was because there had not been such an exercise in the city in the last two years.
We also learnt that there have been requests from other cities within the area of coverage of the Consulate, such as Minnesota, Indianapolis, Michigan and Maryland for similar intervention exercises in their cities.
Taking the services to Nigerian nationals in their cities of domicile helps to save the applicants travel costs and other inconveniences and affords opportunity for interaction between the Consulate’s officials and the nationals where they reside.