My wife, Olawunmi, the employees of the Nigeria High Commission, Ottawa and I, your High Commissioner, Adeyinka Asekun, wish you a happy new year and the blessings of the season.
I take this opportunity to thank all of you for keeping faith in 2021. It was a challenging year being the second of the COVID-19 Pandemic. But we praise God for giving us grace and counting us worthy to have crossed over into 2022.
The Nigeria High Commission is determined to build on Nigeria and Canada’s existing bilateral relations. Our engagement in trade and investment, collaboration in the Education sector, migration and developmental aid have remained positive and fruitful.
In furtherance of our cordial relationship, Canada will host the sixth Binational Commission virtually shortly. The meeting will create room for further deliberations to address issues of mutual concern for both countries. I encourage you to take advantage of the vast investment opportunities in Nigeria. Invite your friends to join you. The Nigeria High Commission is committed to helping you connect with the appropriate parties within the Nigerian government and the private sector to facilitate the process.
The government of Ontario has announced additional measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 and the recent Omicron variant. Therefore, the restrictions constrain the Mission to adhere to the prescribed guidelines for indoor gatherings in the interest of our citizens and staff. We will try to address all immigration and consular issues as much as possible, but we urge you to please adhere to the guidelines on your invitation letter for passport renewal.
I assure you that citizens diplomacy is a cardinal component of the Nigeria High Commission’s role. In furtherance of this we hope to roll out the 10-year validity passport in Canada within the first half of 2022. As you all know, it will go a long way in easing the challenges we face with passport renewal.
However, an essential requirement for the roll-out process is the acquisition of the National Identification Number (NIN). It is compulsory for all Nigerians; please, get it as soon as possible.
Please check the Nigeria High Commission’s website and social media platforms to see the names of centres, addresses, email, and phone numbers of the service providers.
The discovery of more variants of COVID-19 worldwide indicates that the pandemic may, unfortunately, be with us for a while. Please stay safe and follow the provincial guidelines to protect yourselves, your family, and others. Remain positive and upbeat knowing that with significant effort and faith, we can achieve remarkable feats in 2022. Please, continue to be law-abiding citizens in Canada, there is one High Commissioner, but you all are ambassadors of Nigeria.
I pray that this year will usher in a season of unprecedented peace, progress, and prosperity for all of us.
God bless you all; God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. God bless Canada.
H.E. Adeyinka Asekun,
High Commissioner of Nigeria to Canada