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Ms Hauwa Umar, Treasurer of UNSRC; Amb. Lot Egopija, Consul-General (CG) of Nigeria in New York; Mr Bolade Sobola, President of UNSRC and the Assistant Secretary of the association, Ms Annette Imohe at Nigeria House, New York

Oct.1: Nigerian Consulate, UN association to host youth forum in New York

Mr Bolade Sobola, President of the UN Staff Recreation Council (UNSRC), Nigerian Association (L) and Amb. Lot Egopija, Consul-General (CG) of Nigeria in New York (R) on courtesy call to Egopija in his office at Nigeria House, New York
Amb. Lot Egopija, Consul-General (CG) of Nigeria in New York (middle L) and Mr Bolade Sobola, President of the UN Staff Recreation Council (UNSRC), Nigerian Association (middle R) with some officials of UNSRC and the staff of the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York at Nigeria House, New York.
Ms Hauwa Umar, Treasurer of UNSRC; Amb. Lot Egopija, Consul-General (CG) of Nigeria in New York; Mr Bolade Sobola, President of UNSRC and the Assistant Secretary of the association, Ms Annette Imohe at Nigeria House, New York

By Cecilia Ologunagba

New York, July 27, 2022

The Consulate General of Nigeria in New York, United States of America (USA) will host a youth forum in collaboration with the UN Staff Recreation Council (UNSRC), Nigerian Association, on October 1 as part of the activities to celebrate Nigeria’s independence anniversary.

Amb. Lot Egopija, Consul-General (CG) of Nigeria in New York, said this when the 2022 Executive Committee (EXCO) of UNSRC paid him a courtesy visit in his office at Nigeria House, New York.

The UN correspondent of the New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the association through its President, Mr Bolade Sobola, had proposed to partner the Consulate to organise the forum aimed at supporting the Nigerian youth.

Egopija told his guests that the mission had concluded arrangement in conjunction with the Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN) to organise the 2022 Independence Day Parade and would appreciate UNSRC’s contributions.

“I’m using this opportunity to invite your association; we want every culture in Nigeria that is represented in diaspora to attend and showcase their culture at the parade.

“That day, people should dress Nigerian; we are creating booths for different cultural and ethnic groups, let them bring a miniature of their people, let people see that Nigeria has multiplicity of culture.

“By doing that, we will be promoting tourism. We want a carnival-like atmosphere parade to display rich Nigerian culture,’’ he said.

According to him, the parade will be bigger than previous celebrations as the Consulate was also working with Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa and he has agreed to sponsor a musician from his state to perform at the parade.

In addition to organising the Independence Day Parade, the envoy said the Consulate had been working hard to improve its services to serve Nigerians within its jurisdiction better.

“We have improved on our services because we believe every Nigerian that comes to Nigeria House should be attended to and we have been able to re-jig the system to achieve this feat.

“It would not have been possible without the cooperation of my staff and the senior landlord (Amb. Tijjani Muhamad-Bande, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN) who bought into what we wanted and supported the Consulate.

“People no longer move around again. Once they come in, everything about consular services end on the 2nd floor. It is now one stop shop; you come, and you are attended to,’’ he said.

Egopija, however, called for suggestions on ways the Consulate could further improve on its services from the EXCO members, saying, “We are not satisfied yet because we believe there is room for improvement”.

In addition, he told his guests that the mission had a WhatsApp platform to communicate with all Nigerian associations executives who in turn would share the information with their members.

Responding, the President of UNSRC, Sobola, commended Egopija on how he had brought the Nigeria community together since he assumed duty in April 2021.

“We have never seen high level of efficiency in the consular services as we witness now. There is a visible difference now from what it used to be,’’ he said.

The president also expressed satisfaction over the upscaling of the annual Independence Day Parade, noting that the association had been looking for ways to contribute to the success of the event.

“We have discussed among ourselves on how to give back and we want to do a forum with the Nigerian Youth to inform them of opportunities within the UN system.

“We want to bring our professionals within the UN as resource persons to inform the youth about the opportunities within the system and see how we can mentor them as well,’’ he said.

In addition, he thanked his host for his style of leadership and improved communication between the Consulate and the association.

NAN reports the aim of the visit was to introduce the EXCO members to the Consul General and discuss areas of collaboration with the Consulate.

NAN also reports that the EXCO members introduced included Ms. Foluke Ojelabi, Vice-President; Mr. Abdulsalam Aliyu, Secretary; Ms. Annette Imohe, the Assistant Secretary; Treasurer, Ms.  Hauwa Umar and the Assistant Treasurer, Ms. Oluwatosin Akingbulu.

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