Abiodun OBA

 

Six Hundred foreign nationals who have been residing in Nigeria, but desirous of being Nigerians have applied for Nigerian Citizenship.

Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, however, disclosed that out of the number, 286 foreign nationals wwere approved by the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.

Aregbesola said the applicants included Americans, Europeans, North and South Koreans and Australians.

Although Aregbesola did not provide the list of the new Nigerians or of the applicants, he said 208 of those approved were granted citizenship by naturalisation, while 78 others were granted citizenship by registration.

“The Ministry of Interior through me presented the Advisory Committee on Nigeria citizenship approval to the Council today. And it’s the first set. By the end of this first quarter or latest by the middle of the year, another set will be presented to council.

“We received 600 applications from several people, foreign nationals, who have been residing in Nigeria, but desirous of being Nigerians.

“These applicants are from virtually every part of the world. Americans, North and South Korean, Australians, Europeans, Arabs, Asians, all over of the South Africans. Out of the 600 applicants, the advisory committee approved for the consideration of the council, 286″, he said.

The minister said all the applications were scrutinised by relevant security agencies.

“Before the presentation, let me say, some agents of the government scrutinised these applicants. The agencies are the department of state security, the foreign affairs ministry, the Nigeria Immigration Service, and the state of domicile of those individuals”, he said.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, described the memo as groundbreaking especially at a time some Nigerians say the country is unfit to live in.

He said: “It’s a groundbreaking memo as it will tell you because just as some people think Nigeria is not a fit and proper place to live, we have thousands of people who are applying daily all over the world from virtually every continent to be citizens of Nigeria, I think that is very instructive.”

Newsmen recall that the Nigerian government had in 2017 granted 335 foreign nationals Citizenship.

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