A KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY FORMER CONSUL GENERAL AMBASSADOR GEOFFREY TENEILABE, AT THE VSA FLORIDA AND VSA ARTS NIGERIA ON DISABILITY IN NIGERIA, OPPORTUNITY TO EDUCATE THE PEOPLE AND HOW IT IS ADDRESSED, JUNE 6TH, 2015, TAMPA, FLORIDA

I wish to thank Very Special Arts (VSA), Florida, for the international outreach to Nigeria and for affording me the opportunity to be part of the event as the Keynote Speaker.

2. Disability can be defined as physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, impairment or a combination of some of the above. Disability may be present from birth, or occur during a lifetime. Thus, people with disabilities or special needs are those with limited abilities to participate or be involved in regular activities or programmes, with subsequent adverse effects on performances and functionality in the society.

OPENING REMARKS BY FORMER CONSUL GENERAL AMB. GEOFFREY TENEILABE, AMB/CONSUL-GENERAL ON THE OCCASION OF THE NIGERIA DIASPORA DIAGNOSTIC & TRAUMA CENTER BANQUET & FUND RAISING

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Protocol

  • His Excellency, Prof. Adefuye, Ambassador of Nigeria to the United States represented by H. O. Balogun;
  • Consul-General of Nigeria, New York, Ambassador Habib Habu;
  • President of the Nigeria Diaspora Diagnostic and Trauma Foundation;
  • Chairs and members of the Committees of Foundation;
  • Invited Guests;
  • Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.

Today marks a happy moment for Nigerians in the diaspora as a dream of nearly two years ago begins to unfold in more ways than one.

2. In August 2013, the Nigerian in Diaspora Organization in the Americas, Atlanta branch, in joint partnership with the Consulate-Generalof Nigeria, Atlanta, convened a conference on Diaspora Investment and the establishment of a Trauma Center, as a result of the needless and preventable deaths of our people in Nigeria that sometimes occur.

3. In December of the same year, the idea was sold to the Prof. Nat Njoku’s led Nigerian Community Organization and the Association of Nigerian Physician in the Americas (ANPA), in Charlotte led at that time by Dr. Michael Etomi and with its local chapter led by Dr. Phillip Igbeniadolor. Fortunately, the idea was enthusiastically received but with the caveat to give Diagnosis the primacy of place in the programme.

4. Subsequently, in March 2014, the Consulate in Atlanta, initiated and sponsored the maiden meeting of the programme and the idea of a Diagnostic and Trauma Center was born. Ever since, the Consulate has also sponsored all its other eight Stakeholders meetings at a cost of over US $24,000.00 besides other expenses. I am delighted to pledge that the Consulate would sustain its support to this programme and give every encouragement to the realization of its dreams and aspirations.

5. I commend His Excellency, the Ambassador of Nigeria to the United States, Professor Ade Adefuye, ably represented by H. O Balogun officer in charge of Consular matters and Nigerian Affairs, for being part of this vision. I also speciallycommend my good friend and brother, Ambassador Habib Habu for his total commitment, dedication and strong support for the initiative.

6. The commitment of the Nigerian Diplomatic Missions to this project is without question. Sadly, in the comity of Nations, Nigerian healthcare statistics appear not encouraging. The average Nigeria life expectancy is only 57 years; infant mortality is 74.09 deaths to 1,000 live births; maternal mortality is 630 deaths to 100,000 live births; accident rate is 33.7 deaths per 100,000 and diseases such as malaria, typhoid, river blindness, polio, cholera, among others are prevalent, although all is not gloom as government defeated the Ebola scourge, guinea worm has been eradicated and polio, nearly so.

7. Nevertheless, many preventable deaths are still commonplace. It is therefore, advisable to raise the bar of our healthcare system in Nigeria to save lives. For a population of about 175 million people, the available healthcare facilities, to say the least, are not only grossly inadequate but also to a large extent not very high for specialized care going by international standards.

8. As a result, Nigerians seek specialized medical attention from many other parts of the world, spending over one billion dollars a year. Yet our physicians are some of the best in the world serving other entities, jurisdictions and countries from the United Kingdom to the United States, Saudi Arabia, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, among others.

9. For this reason, there is a need for the estimated 11 (eleven) -12 million Nigerian Diaspora population from every part of the world to come together and put forth a befitting first class facility in their name as a monument of their contribution to the healthcare delivery system of their dear fatherland. We definitely would not solve all the healthcare problems of Nigeria but, together we can certainly make a difference as little drops of water make the mighty ocean.

10. I thank the Founding Fathers and Mothers of this programme for their dedication, financial contributions and invaluable time committed to this project,(could they rise for recognition please). I also thank the President of the Foundation, Chairs and members of the functional Committees, namely:

i. the Committee of the Whole;

ii. mobilization and publicity committee;

iii. finance and accounts Committee;

iv. design/technical Committee; and

v. medical/allied services committee for their times.

11. My gratitude also goes to the Planning Committee of this event for their invaluable time and dedication. Your reward will be here on earth.

12. However, I want to point out that the founding principle of openness of operations of this programme and collective ownership should continue to be the guiding principles because any deviation from it and towards exclusivity could spell disaster and scare people away. Please invite friends, relations and partners to be part of the vision. The membership of every committee and sub-committee should remain wide open at all times to everybody that wants to serve. It is an all comers affairs.

13. I wish to welcome every one present here especially those of you who have come from far and near- from Nigeria and other States in the United States to attend this event. We appreciate your time and your contributions to the realization of the programme.

14. I hope you all will find time to explore Atlanta and savour the famous southern hospitality with which Atlanta has come to be known and identified. But more importantly, I urge you all to please open your purse strings in the evening and donate generously to this worthy cause for the benefit of Nigeria.

15. Thank you for your kind attention.

PANAF’S AFRICA LEADERSHIP LECTURE HOLDS IN PITTSBURGH

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On Friday February 6, 2015,  The Pan African Graduate and Professional Student Union at the University of Pittsburg held its first Africa Leadership Lecture series at the O’Hara Student Ballroom (4024 O’Hara St., Pittsburgh).

The event started with a tour of the Brother’s Brother Foundation facility. Welcome remarks were made by Dr. Alberta M. Sbragia, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies. The keynote address was delivered by Amb. Geoffrey Teneilabe, Amb./Consul General of Nigeria, Atlanta GA, remarks by Hon. Da Silva, Hon. Smith, and Mr Rufus of UAC. Followed by Questions and Answer from audience, including refreshments. For more of Amb. Teneilabe’s Opening Remarks, click here

The closing remarks and presentation of certificates of appreciation was presented by Dr. Macrina Lelei, Director of African Studies. The event ended with a round table discussion, and a dinner reception with leaders of the African Community, and the PANAF e-board.

The Africa Leadership Lecture series is an initiative is to bring awareness, and create a dialogue on how to elevate hunger, and poverty in Africa. See video and pics below:

PANAF’S AFRICA LEADERSHIP LECTURE HOLDS IN PITTSBURGH

DSC07672

On Friday February 6, 2015,  The Pan African Graduate and Professional Student Union at the University of Pittsburg held its first Africa Leadership Lecture series at the O’Hara Student Ballroom (4024 O’Hara St., Pittsburgh).

The event started with a tour of the Brother’s Brother Foundation facility. Welcome remarks were made by Dr. Alberta M. Sbragia, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies. The keynote address was delivered by Amb. Geoffrey Teneilabe, Amb./Consul General of Nigeria, Atlanta GA, remarks by Hon. Da Silva, Hon. Smith, and Mr Rufus of UAC. Followed by Questions and Answer from audience, including refreshments. For more of Amb. Teneilabe’s Opening Remarks, click here

The closing remarks and presentation of certificates of appreciation was presented by Dr. Macrina Lelei, Director of African Studies. The event ended with a round table discussion, and a dinner reception with leaders of the African Community, and the PANAF e-board.

The Africa Leadership Lecture series is an initiative is to bring awareness, and create a dialogue on how to elevate hunger, and poverty in Africa. See video and pics below:

PANAF’S AFRICA LEADERSHIP LECTURE HOLDS IN PITTSBURGH

DSC07672

On Friday February 6, 2015,  The Pan African Graduate and Professional Student Union at the University of Pittsburg held its first Africa Leadership Lecture series at the O’Hara Student Ballroom (4024 O’Hara St., Pittsburgh).

The event started with a tour of the Brother’s Brother Foundation facility. Welcome remarks were made by Dr. Alberta M. Sbragia, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies. The keynote address was delivered by Amb. Geoffrey Teneilabe, Amb./Consul General of Nigeria, Atlanta GA, remarks by Hon. Da Silva, Hon. Smith, and Mr Rufus of UAC. Followed by Questions and Answer from audience, including refreshments. For more of Amb. Teneilabe’s Opening Remarks, click here

The closing remarks and presentation of certificates of appreciation was presented by Dr. Macrina Lelei, Director of African Studies. The event ended with a round table discussion, and a dinner reception with leaders of the African Community, and the PANAF e-board.

The Africa Leadership Lecture series is an initiative is to bring awareness, and create a dialogue on how to elevate hunger, and poverty in Africa. See video and pics below:

OPENING REMARKS – FESTIVAL OF ARTS, CULTURE AND EXPO AWARDS

Protocol

I am delighted to welcome you to this Festival of Arts, Culture, and Expo Award event, making the first time the Consulate is facilitating such an event in Atlanta in collaboration with AfriQtalk and other organizations. In this vein, let me congratulate AfriQtalk and the Chambers for the insightful initiative.

2. The theme of the event is aptly captured as: “Harnessing Culture for Competitive Advantage.” It is aimed at promoting cultural ties between Nigeria and the United States as well as the provision of opportunities and platform for exchange of information, ideas and interaction between private sector investors of the two countries.

3. Arts and Culture form the core of a people’s being and the essence of their existence. It is also an extension of their human expression. The role of Arts and Culture as catalyst to progressive multiculturalism is gaining more recognition, while artifacts open our eyes to our historical existence.

4. Our cultural heritage keeps our memories alive of how beliefs and cultural expressions have contributed to the development of society.

5. Nigeria is a land of rich artistic heritage and endowed with the abundance of creativity dating back to over 2000 years. Nigerian cultural riches are well demonstrated through art, dance, literature, folklore, music, etc. Some of these need specific mention. They include but obviously not limited to the exquisite Benin Bronze, the Nok Terracottas, the exceptionally beautiful Igbo-Ukwu Bronze work, the delicate Ile-Ife Bronze work, the Esie stone carvings.

6. Others are the woodwork of Oron and other tribes of the South-South of Nigeria, the pottery work of the people around the Federal Capital Territory, the leather works of the North and many others.

7. Tourism as one of the major industries in the world and among the biggest creators of employment is also a part of this Conference. Nigeria is blessed with tourism sites and monuments that could be considered world class by any standard. Nigeria is extraordinarily rich in heritage, archeology, arts, crafts, culture and environmental tourism.

8. On this note, mention must be made of the Argungu Fishing Festival, the Yankari Game Reserve, the Obudu Cattle Ranch & Holiday Resort. Similarly, there are the Ogbunike Caves, the ancient Kano Dye Pits, confluence of Niger and Benue River, the pristine forest reserves of Cross River State indicating rich biodiversity, the Okomu Wildlife Sanctuary, Ikogosi Warm Springs, the Unesco World Heritage Sukur Landscape, the Olumo Rocks, not to talk of the 800 kilometers unbroken silvery sandy beaches that could be found in Lagos, Badagari, Calabar, Port Harcourt and other coastal towns of the country.

9. Nigeria is also home to several festivals and sites of historical interests. Among these are the colorful Durbar festival in the North, the Eyo Festival in Lagos, the Sharo-Shadi Fulani Festival, the Calabar Carnival, the Osun Fertility Festival and the New Yam Festival of the Southeast.

10. Here in the United States, Africa is ancestral home to the 45 million African-American population of the country. Heritage tourism therefore presents itself as a major area of interest to a good number of people for the purposes of tracing their roots to the land of their forefathers.

11. Today, Nollywood (Nigerian films) depicting Nigerian culture and ways of life also flourishes and has grown to be the 3rd largest film industry in the world. Nigeria also has some of the most diverse culinary and tasty food capable of tickling anybody’s taste buds as well as variety of original textile designs on the African continent.

12. The foregoing and many more indicate the arts and cultural riches of Nigeria and the huge tourism, arts and cultural trove of Nigeria as a major tourism destination in Africa, although we should have a greater slice of the $ 32 billion world tourism.

13. Furthermore, I need to point out that tourism in Nigeria is still regarded as a pioneer industry and qualifies for many incentives including tax holidays, import duty exemption on equipment, ease of land acquisition, etc.

14. Thus, I wish to take this opportunity to invite the general public to visit Nigeria not only as tourists for a taste of the Nigerian hospitality, culture, arts and other rich heritages but also as investors for the development of cultural sites, camps, resorts and other facilities in order to make money for themselves. Such investors would be given all the support and encouragement by the Consulate and the government of Nigeria to make their efforts worthwhile and their investment profitable.

15. Such endeavor would be fitting for an economy with the largest population in Africa of over 170 million people, constituting Africa’s largest market and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of over $510 billion.

16. Thank you for your kind attention.

Ambassador Geoffrey Teneilabe

  1. THE NIGERIAN CONSULATE, ATLANTA IN CONJUNCTION WIH ACCORD CONSULTING WILL BE CONDUCTING A PASSPORT INTERVENTION FOR NIGERIANS IN DALLAS AND ENVIRONS SCHEDULED NOVEMBER 11-13, 2016 HAS BEEN POSTPONED. DATE: DECEMBER 9-11, 2016.
  2. VENUE: EMMANUEL ANGLICAN CHURCH (c/o 51 LUKE'S CHURCH) 5923 ROYAL LANE, DALLAS, TAXES 75230) REGISTRATION: CONTACT ACCONDU CONSULTING. TEL: 214-763-5409
  3. The General Public is hereby notified that LYNXSYS: An IT Firm/Consultant with a web site domain name NIGERIANPASSPORTNOW.COM who purportedly acts and renders Consular, Visa, Payment Confirmation and Express Delivery services on behalf of the Consultant is a Hoax and should be avoided. 
  4. The Consulate wishes to categorically state, that it has nothing to do with the aforementioned business concern as it cannot guarantee its Authenticity. In this light, therefore whoever conducts business with it does as his own risk.
  5. OPENING OF A NIGERIA VISA SORTING AND CLEARANCE CENTER OPERATED BY OIS SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CONSULATE OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA. This is to inform the General Public that a visa collection and sorting center has been opened and is operated by OIS Services on behalf of the Consulate General of Nigeria.
  6. The office is located at: OIS SERVICES Suite 204, 918 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell, GA 30076 Tel. No.: +1 678 514 3263 Website:www.oisservices.com
  7. By this development, all submissions of visa applications and payments will henceforth be handled by aforementioned office, starting from Monday, May 16, 2016. Please note that, from the above stated date (May 16, 2016) the Consulate will cease to collect any visa applications and payments.