The Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians, the organisers of Nigerian Parade in New York, United States has conferred an Excellence Award on Amb. Lot Egopija, Consul General of Nigeria in New York.
The award was conferred on Egopija in recognition of his exemplary leadership skills in transforming the consular services at the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York.
The award was presented to Egopija by Nigeria’s Ambassador to the US, Dr Uzoma Emenike at a dinner to commemorate the 62nd independence anniversary of Nigeria in New York.
Commenting on the award, Mr Yinka Dansalami, Chairman Board of Directors, OAN, said Egopija had done excellently well in improving consular services to Nigerians within the jurisdiction of the Consulate.
Dansalami said Nigerians witnessed great improvement in Passports issuance, collection, and other consular services, noting that he was always willing to do more.
“Nigerian associations have enjoyed effective collaboration and cooperation with the Consulate under the leadership of Amb. Egopija,’’ he said.
Other patriotic members who were honoured for their exemplary service to Nigeria community were Ganiya Abu, Yinka Sirayi, Kemi Omotade, Richard Iyasere, Francis James, Folashade Ojo, Sumonu Osagie and Temi Aregbesola.
The members got Community Service Award while Dr Titus Okunlola got Donor Award.
In his remarks, Egopija thanked OAN for supporting the Consulate and for organising the annual Independence Day events, to make sure that the image of Nigeria was always projected.
“We are indebted to all Nigerians; we are called to work for you, and you have made our work easier in the sense that we now understand ourselves.
“I also want to thank the Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, who sponsored a Nigerian musician-Timi Dakolo- to perform at the carnival,’’ he said.
Also speaking, President of OAN, Solomon Bakare commended Egopija for working tirelessly to provide needed services for Nigerians in the U.S.
Established in 1989, Bakare said OAN would not relent in its efforts to address the needs of Nigerians in Diaspora.
“OAN was established at a time Nigeria and Nigerians were suffering from prejudice and from negative stereotypes in the America media.
“We have used the parade to show to the world that we are productive members of this community,’’ he said.
Bakare, however, called for financial support from Nigerians to continue to finance the parade, which has been an annual event in New York for more than 30 years.
In his remarks, Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Amb. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, commended the OAN for bringing Nigerians together through the events.
“I commend you for your efforts, especially for targeting the younger generation and also for your contributions to your homeland,’’ he said.
Emenike also joined Muhammad-Bande to commend OAN, saying “what you are doing is very important; you are connecting our generation and future generation back home.
She urged parents in Diaspora to take their children home regularly for them to appreciate their root.
“It is important for you to be self-assured as individuals; we all have different destinies so recongnise what is your pleasure in life and go after it,’’ the envoy said. (NAN)