AMBROSE EHIRIM/THE AMBROSE EHIRIM FILES
Federal Ministry of External Affairs Building, Abuja
Time is of the essence, if you have not already done so, please visit the Nigerian Immigration website at https://portal.immigration.gov.ng/index.htm and start your application process NOW! We have less than four weeks to the visit of the embassy team. Please avoid the last minute rush which we are always associated with us Nigerians.
While filling out the online application, please choose Washington DC as your "processing center". Also disregard the following: a) appointment date and b) passport pictures, these are pre-loaded/auto-generated system features in the passport processing menu.
The following are the steps we will take once you have visited the website, printed out and submitted the following: 1) database sheet, 2) application acknowledgement sheet, & 3) payment acknowledgement sheet:
A. All collected applications will be mailed to the Nigerian Embassy Washington DC;
B. All applications will be pre-coded by Nigerian Embassy staff prior to their coming to Los Angeles on January 26 & 27, 2013;
C. All Submitted and Pre-Coded Applications will receive first priority and scheduled for appointment before any last-minute, rushed, or walk-ins;
D. NOW is the time for you to start the process, not a few days prior to their coming. Please do the needful NOW!
NIDOA Rep. Southern California"
The above signed, written note by Reginald Obiamalu is loud and clear.
On Saturday, January 26, and Sunday, January 27, 2013, Diaspora Nigerians in Greater Los Angeles and elsewhere in the neighboring counties including the Central and Northern California areas would be in Los Angeles for their E-Passport processing, courtesy of the Office of Foreign Mission, Nigerian Embassy, Washington, D.C. The two day processing which comes along with processing fee and requirements from the link provided in Obiamalu's letter will be held at Salcare Home Health services, Inc., on the 1100 block of El Segundo Boulevard in Gardena.
Nigeria has no official consular office in Los Angeles and its surroundings, and, precisely, none in all of California which ranks among most populated Nigerians in the United States. Nigeria has no information services center in Los Angeles where people of related interest could use as a resource for their travel guide. Nigeria does not have an office of a foreign mission in Southern California and to be exact, the Western United States, as huge as the region entails, to serve the consular posts of the international community coupled with business-related opportunities.
The need for consular posts in any foreign mission of any country is to keep accurate data of its citizenry and also the responsibility for ensuring that every Nigerian is accounted for and represented in Greater Los Angeles; for instance, which would reinforce the Ministry of External Affairs in Abuja or the consular office in Washington, messages regarding consular notification in the event of emergencies and things like that.
So, as Nigerians head to a private business entity Office of the Foreign Mission is contracting to in its diplomatic assignments, would Salcare Home Health Services be retained for official businesses, and providing the necessary needs and services to Nigerians when appropriate?
Would Salcare Home Health services be used, for example, say, the cultural department of Southern California related counties wants direct contact on its proposals for some cultural engagements with Nigeria, as Nigeria's consular office to serve the diplomatic communities in the Southland on bilateral issues and business related opportunities in Nigeria?
Would Salcare Home Health services be used on its contract agreement with Nigeria's Office of the Foreign Mission, legal matters with regards to international relations and benefits derived from it?
What has held Office of the Foreign Mission and the Nigerian Embassy in Washington in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of External Affairs from opening a liaison office, no matter how inadequate in staff, at locations of high Nigerian concentrations like Los Angeles , the San Francisco Bay area, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Newark-New York axis, etc. and as the list goes on and on, what's really the problem?
And why hasn't Nigerians in Greater Los Angeles who had been tight lipped on issues that borders on their well-being petitioned the Ministry of External Affairs, the relative importance of an official liaison office, information center, consular office and provisions of that nature to sit in Los Angeles on the clear ground of its large population?
And why hasn't the visiting diplomatic team from Washington rented or bought an official building by way of a Liaison office to attend the needs of Diaspora Nigerians in Los Angeles?
The idea that a private residence or personal office is used to serve Nigeria consular purposes and needs in Greater Los Angeles is senseless in many ways, especially on the grounds of serving diplomatic missions. There shouldn't have been any room for that in the first place.