Kayode Laro, the Consul-General of Nigeria at Atlanta, has said that Nigerians residents in the U.S. are hardworking and law-abiding.
The president’s statement has been condemned by many Nigerians and politicians.
Mr Laro told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the consulate was proud of the contributions of Nigerians to the U.S. and also to their homeland.
The consulate was established in 1998 to strengthen the long existing relations between Nigeria and the U.S. with jurisdiction in the 17 South-eastern States of the U.S. and territory.
These are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.
Mr Laro said: “As a Consulate, we are extremely proud of our citizens here and that’s why we engage closely with them and we know what they do.
“Nigerians here in Georgia are definitely law-abiding, hardworking and they contribute to enhancing the image of Nigeria, their country, through their actions.
“Nigerians are really doing a lot here.
“We have Nigerians running NGOs and with the recognition within the State of Georgia and so on.
“They are highly united under different organisations and we have an umbrella body, which is called the ‘Organisation of Nigerians in Georgia.’
“This umbrella body accommodates all or a good number of the various Nigerian organisations and associations in the State of Georgia.
“I’ve been around all those states and I have to encourage them to do similar things.”
He, however, said there could be isolated cases of deviants, like in any human group.
“Occasionally, there will be the case of someone get arrested for drunk driving or driving under the influence of one thing or the other.
“But one would not take it lightly because everybody has to keep within the law and by and large, the majority of Nigerians are really law abiding,’’ he said.
The envoy said the relations between the Consulate and the Nigerian community was cordial, friendly and mutually beneficial.
According to him, the relations between the Nigerian community and the Consulate is one that can be described as a very close engagement.
“My colleagues and I demonstrate this, not just by what we say but also through our actions.
“We get invited to events and we show up.
“We also invite members of the community, whenever we have functions,’’ the envoy said.
He said the consulate received between 1,200 and 1,300 passport applications and between 350 and 500 visa applications monthly.
Mr Laro added that the figure had not changed even with the introduction of the electronic visa.
“On average, we get 350 to 500 visa applications monthly and even before the introduction of the e-visa arrangement, that’s about the same range that we had.
“The average number of applications we get monthly ranged between 1,200 and 1,300.
“We noticed that at certain times of the year, there might be a slight increase, especially when schools are on holiday.
“That’s when parents would have the time to bring them to the Consulate for the biometrics,’’ he said.
The envoy lauded the federal government for upgrading the nation’s visa to the electronic type, saying this has upgraded Nigeria’s visa application procedure.
“It’s in line with current best global practices and it has enhanced the security of our visa,’’ Mr Laro said.
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Welcome the next set of MTN Scholars!
360 young Nigerians receive scholarships from MTN Foundation
MTN Foundation has awarded scholarships to 360 university students at a virtual ceremony on November 12, 2020. The scholarships were awarded under the MTNF scholarship schemes made up of the MTNF Science & Technology Scholarship (STSS) and Scholarship for the Blind Students (SBSS). In attendance were the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, represented by the Technical Assistant, Dr. Olufemi Adeluyi; Honourable Minister of Science & Technology represented by the Acting Director-General of the National Space Research and
Development Agency, Dr. Francis Chizea; former Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson amongst other notable dignitaries.
Speaking at the ceremony, the representative of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Olufemi Adeluyi said: “We are here with the MTN Foundation to celebrate scholars that have excelled in school. MTN is also supporting people with disabilities by funding their education and this is very commendable. The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is constantly working towards elevating skills over degrees. We are also committed to ensuring that individuals are empowered with the right tools and skills.”
Also speaking, Honourable Minister of Science & Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu represented by Dr. Francis Chizea said: “I am glad that MTN, in giving back to the society through its foundation, set up a scholarship scheme to empower the youths and as well, drive science and technology. This is a welcome development and a commendable effort that other organizations need to emulate.”
A major highlight of the ceremony was a fireside chat themed “Insight. Influence. Impact” with thought leaders sharing inspiring insights with the scholars. Nigeria’s former Minister for Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson reiterated the role MTN continues to play in the ICT space and its impact on the country. “We need to get a workforce that is very comfortable with technology. We are in a state where we need world-class educational institutions and interventions such as this that will enable students to be very vast in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” Johnson said.
Leading to the ceremony, this year’s graduating students from the scholarship programme were hosted to a career incubation boot camp facilitated by experts from Google, Oracle, Cisco and Jobberman. Facilitators shared insights on various opportunities amongst other vital employability tips.
Speaking on the scholarship award ceremony and workshop for graduands, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma said, “Providing access to quality education is the first step to a world of opportunity for the youth of our nation. We know it does not stop there. We need to also ensure that they are adequately prepared for the
workplace. We hope that the fireside chat at the award ceremony will inspire the students to reach for greatness and innovation. Furthermore, it is our belief that the employability workshop held earlier will enrich the career path of the graduating students. The MTNF scholarship scheme is more than just funds; it is a commitment to
build the capacity of our youth. We wish all our graduating scholars success as they set out to take on the world and congratulate all awardees as the next set of young nation builders in the making.”
The newly awarded scholars will each enjoy a scholarship grant worth N200,000 annually till graduation as long as they maintain a CGPA of 3.5 or its equivalent. The scholarship covers tuition, book allowance and stipend. Till date, MTN Foundation has awarded scholarships to 3,829 students valued at over NGN 2.1Billion.
The MTNF annual scholarships are awarded to high performing students in Nigerian public tertiary institutions.
Illegal Abortions Responsible For Mysterious Deaths In Bauchi: State Govt
Bauchi State Government has revealed that the mysterious deaths recorded in the State has been as a result of illegal abortions.
An investigation carried out by the Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has revealed that illegal abortion by unqualified medical practitioners is the cause of mysterious deaths in Azare and other local government areas in the northern part of the state.
According to reports, no fewer than 200 women have died in Bauchi as a result of this and there are projections that the number could be more at the end of the investigation.
The Executive Chairman of the agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, disclosed this Friday, May 29, at an interactive session organized by the Bauchi State Public Health Media Network.
Mohammed said the deaths resulted from unwanted and unplanned pregnancies by both married and unmarried women of childbearing ages who, after becoming pregnant, visited quack health workers to terminate the pregnancies.
He said the lack of understanding of the importance of child spacing as well as ignorance of what to do with such pregnancies had become a major problem to family health in the state.
He emphasized the need for adequate sex education for the girl-child by parents, particularly mothers, to reduce unwanted pregnancies, thereby reducing deaths from complications.
Ondo Govt Arraigns Suspected Killers Of Funke Olakunrin
The Ondo State Government has arraigned four men suspected to have killed Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of the National Leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
Recall that it was earlier reported that the Nigeria Police Force handed over the suspects to the State Government.
They are Lawal Mazaje from the Felele area of Kogi State, Adamu Adamu from Jada area of Adamawa State, Mohammed Usman from Illela area of Sokoto State, and Auwal Abubakar from Shinkafi area of Zamfara State.
The suspects were arraigned on Friday by the government at a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Akure.
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