The Federal Government has granted 335 foreign nationals citizenship after statutory clearance and due diligence by the relevant security agencies.
The Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), who presented the certificates of citizenship to the foreigners yesterday in Abuja, charged them to be good ambassadors of the country.
Iara Oshiomhole, wife of former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, who is from Cape Verde, is one of the recipients. Dambazau said that the 335 applications were approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in January, out of the over 500 foreigners who applied.
He explained that 245 of them were granted citizenship by naturalisation while 90 foreign women who are married to Nigerians were by registration.
“Let me say that application for the Citizenship of Nigeria, which can be by Naturalisation or Registration is provided for in Chapter 3, Sections 26 and 27 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the minister explained.
He added that the approval was part of government’s effort on the “Ease of doing business in Nigeria” and boosting the country’s image in line with international best practices.
He tasked the “new Nigerian citizens” to be of good conduct, respect the rights and customs of their communities and contribute to the development of the country.
Damabazau said the last time such ceremony was conducted was in December 2013 and pledged to ensure its sustenance on an annual basis for proper scrutiny
A Rwandan national, Dr. Lamabert Shumbusho, who responded on behalf of the recipients, thanked the Federal Government and pledged their loyalty and commitment to the development of Nigeria.
Other recipients include nationals from Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, China and other African countries, most of who are business moguls who have been operating in Nigeria for years.
The Ministry of Interior and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) are charged with the responsibility of processing applications for naturalisation from foreign nationals who have lived in Nigeria for a minimum of 15 years and those who are married to Nigerians by registration.