FG confers Nigerian citizenship on 286 foreigners
Eighty-six Lebanese, 14 Britons, and four Americans were among 286 foreign nationals conferred with the status of Nigerian citizenship by President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, following approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Of these deserving persons, who signed to be Nigerians, 208 were conferred citizenship status by naturalisation, while the remaining 78 were conferred by registration after they officially recited the oath of allegiance and the Nigerian national pledge during the ceremony held at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Addressing them, Buhari directed the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to immediately issue the new Nigerians with certificates, as appropriate, to enable them enjoy the status wherever they reside in the country.
Urging them to make positive contributions in the different communities where they reside, and abide by ideals of the nation, Buhari said the ceremony was a constitutional requirement, aimed at removing the tag of “statelessness” on every bonafide citizen of the country.
He said: “You have pledged your allegiance to Nigeria. When you give your love and loyalty to Nigeria, she returns her love and loyalty to you.
“All those concerned with immigration matters are to offer our new citizens quick legal identification. Also, their local councils should assist with their integration in the local community, to enable them enjoy all the entitlements of a Nigerian citizen.”
“No matter where you come from, or what faith you practice, this country is now your country. Our history is now your history, and our traditions are now your traditions. Nigeria is your home and pride and joy.
“In line with our transformational ideals of strict adherence to due process and transparent procedures, the Ministry of Interior ensured that only deserving persons were recommended to the Federal Executive Council to be conferred with Nigerian citizenship.”