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Friday, June 21, 2024

Experts disclose benefits on establishing Chicago consulate’s office

After a thorough review of the current economic challenges before Nigeria, thousands of its citizens residing in United States have advocated that the Federal Government consider establishment of a Consulate office in Chicago, Illinois, a step that will boost the Nigeria’s economy status through increase in annual Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

These experts in different industry in the US stated that this move will attract investments that could bring geometric economic growth to the Nigerian, especially at a time when it’s neighbours were currently facing challenges.

They argued that reducing travel time for both Nigerians and investors willing to have discussion with the country’s representatives and access services provided by the nation’s embassy will have significant impact on the FDI annually.

This came after the Federal Government announced that the FDI for third quarter of 2023 stood at US$ 59.77 million.

According to Nigerians abroad in the Midwestern part of the United States, if President Tinubu order the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Minister Yusuff Tuggar, to setup a consulate office in Chicago, it will facilitate quick amd efficient travel from the country back to Nigeria for businesses, tourism, and educational purposes and in return, the presence of these visitors and Investors will help scale up the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Arguing further, they stated that this will reduce the country’s huge dependence on crude oil since other sectors will attract attention from visitors, Investors and Nigerians abroad.

These Nigerians noted that the consulate will not serve as merely a bureaucratic expansion, but a symbolic avenue for the Federal Government to engage with the Nigerians abroad especially those in the United States.

Among those advocating for the creation and establishment of the consulate are Prof Shaffideen Amuwo, a Clinical Associate Professor Emeritus at University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), Alh. Tunji Quadri, a US-based cyber security expert and the General Coordinator of a Nigerian group abroad, Nigeria Diaspora Initiative (NDI), Mr.Tolani Banire, a Manager with vast experience in the Aviation Industry, Dr.Oluwagoke Ajayi, a seasoned Engineer and contractor with the U.S. Department of Defense, Dr. Victor Onafuye Jonathan, an Information Technology (IT) expert and Hon. Femi Odere who is also a Disaporan.

Speaking to our correspondent yesterday, Alh. Quadri noted that the choice of Chicago is strategic considering its location and accessibility for all irrespective of their status in the country.

He lamented that previous Nigerian leaders’ decision not to set up a consulate office in Chicago has rubbed the country of many benefits it citizens would have gained from.

“At its core, the issue of access to any consular services is a fundamental human right. All people have the right to consular services in a timely and effective manner. Yet, for Nigerians especially those in Chicago and Midwest cities, that right has been denied.

“This denial by the Federal Government has created significant barriers, making it difficult for people to travel, do business, and even access vital documentation”, he added.

Alh.Quadri argued that having a Nigerian consulate in Chicago cannot be overstated, particularly in a city with rich history of International trade and tourism.

According to him, the establishment of a Nigerian consulate in Chicago would be a game-changer because it would provide the much-needed resources for Nigerians living in the city and in the neighboring Midwest states, as well as for visitors and Investors who come for business, tourism and others.

The coordinator stressed that having easy access to passport and visa services, document certification, and other key consular services would facilitate business between both countries and reduce unemployment in Nigeria.

“It is crucial that the Tinubu-led administration ensure that Nigerian-Americans are given the support they need to succeed. The establishment of a consulate in Chicago would be a powerful symbol of that commitment”.

Mr.Banire, on his part, stated that the population of Nigerians in the U.S., especially in the Midwest area is a key factor to establishing another Consulate office in Chicago, Illinois to serve the need of our citizens.

Aside that this will give Nigerians residing in U.S. additional options to get their requests sorted out, he added that the clamour for a new consulate office will decongest the number of Nigerians and investors traveling to the other offices in New York and Atlanta, Georgia for consular services.

Dr.Ajayi, who is strongly advocating for the aggressive development of other sectors of the country’s economy after oil, noted that visibility of the consulate office would serve as an avenue for true and real-time information resource for its citizens residing abroad and foreigners to have better understanding of opportunities available within the country.

He added that through the consulate, narratives about our country, especially on culture, arts, business opportunities, heritage, Image and status will be better portrayed to Investors and visitors abroad.

According to him, the office will be a platform for strengthening bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. We hope our proposal is given the utmost consideration for Approval.

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