07 Feb A case study on collaboration to benefit the Nigerian Community in the Diaspora
New York, NY, February, 8, 2018: Nigeria Consulate, New York Consulate – A case study on collaboration to benefit the Nigerian Community in the Diaspora
Following the disruptive incidence which took place at the Consulate office on November 14,2017, representatives from the Organization for the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN, Inc.) met with the Acting Consul-General, Hon. Tanko Abubakar Suleiman onNovember 20, 2017 to discuss the concerns and expectations of our community. The focus of the meeting was on how to make the Consulate Office more customer friendly to those seeking various Consular services and how the Consulate can better engage with the Nigerian Community.
On December 1, 2017, we reported back to the community that the discussionwas candid and direct. The Ag. Consul-General was very receptive and very understanding of the frustration expressed by Nigerians. He informed us of some of the programs and initiatives he wanted to implement at the Consulate. These programs and initiatives were purposely designed to address the concerns of the Nigerian community within the geographical jurisdiction of his office. Further, he pledged his commitment to transform the Consulate and its image, laying particular emphasis on the improvement on its delivery of services to Nigerians within its geographical jurisdiction. The ACG also pledged to change the perception that you need to know someone in the Consulate, in order to obtain prompt and expedited services from the Consulate.
In light of this meeting with the new Acting Consul-General, we reached out and appealed to our community to givethe Ag Consul-General a chance to implement his ideas and initiatives. We also informed the community that OAN leaders will regularly engage the Consulate Office to provide community feedback and suggest areas of improvement.
We are happy to report back that since our initial meeting, there has been significant improvement in how Nigerians are treated and serviced by the New York Consulate Office. Specifically, the following improvements have been made:
- Passports processing is now strictly based on your appointment date
- Most customers spend less than two hours for processing time
- You don’t need to know someone in the Consulate to obtain services
- OIS has been engaged as agent to process all Visa applications
- Priority service to the elderly, handicap and women with infant children
- Reception rooms are comfortable, with light refreshments and televisions
- Staffs at the reception are more friendly and provide valuable information
- Passport processing staff are professional and respectful to their clients
- Accommodation for those with valid proof of immediate need for passports issuance
More changes to come:
- Processing time for passports to be reduced significantly
- Ag Consul-General to meet with Nigerians in their various communities
- Embark on consular trips to states and cities within its jurisdiction to provide services
OAN’s engagement and collaboration with the Consulate, has yielded positive results, improved customer service and minimize the anxiety and apprehension of Nigerians visiting the Consulate for service.
OAN’s approach is one worthy of emulation by other Nigerian organizations in the Diaspora. While we understand the frustration of Nigerians seeking consular services in the Diaspora, we do not believe that an effective approach to bring about changes is through confrontation and public demonstrations. These activities sometimes create a wrong perception among our foreign hosts that we are uncultured and lack the ability to address our differences in a civilized manner.
We appeal to Nigeria Consular Officers, and Nigerian organizations, to take a cue from what OAN and the Nigeria Consulate in New York, have been able to achieve through dialogue, for the benefit of the Nigerian community. This is a case study, worth emulating by all stakeholders.
Please feel free to contact the undersigned if you have any suggestions on how to make any of our consulatesmore customer-friendly.
About OAN: Founded over twenty five years ago, the Organization for the Advancement of Nigerians is a New York-based not-for-profit organization that represents the interests of allNigerians in the Diaspora; and has been at the forefront of encouraging Nigerians to make positive contributions in the United States. OAN is also the arrowhead of the Nigeria Independence Day Parade Committee, which is a coalition of Nigerian religious, professional, and socio-cultural organizations, that plans the annual Nigeria Independence Day Parade in New York City. These organizations include Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas, Nigerian Nurses Association, Nigerian Lawyers Association, Nigerian Social Workers Association, and various religious and Nigerian ethnic associations. OAN also sponsors seminars and symposia on various topical issues, and has received several awards, proclamations, and citations from City, State, and Federal elected officials for its work.
Solomon Bakare, President firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay in touch with OAN through: http:// www.oanweb.org