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Thursday, 17 October 2019

Over 1,000 unclaimed e-passports in New York

Over 1,000 unclaimed e-passports in New York

Over 1,000 unclaimed e-passports are awaiting collection in New York, Nigeria’s Consulate General, Benaoyagha Okoyen, has declared.

He said the backlogs of passport and visa applications are being cleared in line with government operational guidelines.

Okoyen, in a statement in Abuja, denied reports of bribe-taking at the consulate.

Rather, he said it has adopted the highest standard and best practices obtainable in any other Consulate as it relates to E-passport and Visa production.

“Despite the pressure and challenges of December rush in New York, occasioned by the temporary lack of e-passport booklets in other Missions in USA, no charge of $200 or any other fee is made by applicants for same-day e-passport service,” he said.

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“The procedure for timely issuance of passport and visa has been simplified and further streamlined and well known to the public.

“We have also worked hard to ensure that New York Consulate never runs short of e-passport booklets to avoid any disruption in our services.”

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Consulate fully keys into the anti-corruption agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria and will, therefore, spare no one in the Consulate against whom any allegation of unethical practice can be proven,” he added.

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According to him: “The Consulate operates an open-door policy and encourages Nigerians to report any misdemeanor on the part of any of its official to my office. My telephone numbers and email addresses are well publicised for this purpose.

“Besides, a special Help-Desk has been introduced with dedicated phone lines for applicants to contact officials in the Consulate on any issue for quick response to inquiries without undue delay.”

“Similarly, Thebez Global is the only company that handles Bio-metric Visa processing on behalf of the Consulate in the VFS Centre at 145 West 45 Street, New York.

“The Consulate therefore wishes to dissociate itself from any other third-party service providers or unauthorized agents in accessing services provided by the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York.

“Consequently, any payment made by applicants to any unauthorized third-party service provider should not be misconstrued or translated to mean payment to the Consulate General or its officials.”

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