335 foreigners residing in the country have been granted citizenship by the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday, Jan 11,2016.
Following a memo by the Minister of Interior, Abdurahman Dambazzau, recommending those who had met the requirements, the council gave the approval for 335 foreigners while 165 other applications were rejected.
The advisory committee comprising of representatives of the Department of State Services and Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice, recommended and sent those who met the requirement to council for approval. Hence, the FEC approved the recommendations of 245 – those who applied by naturalization and 90 – who applied by registration.
After the Council meeting, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, the minister briefed journalists saying;
“Over 500 applications that we considered, out of these, 335 were recommended for citizenship and this memo was brought to council to that effect. Citizenship is either by naturalization or by registration.
“There are 335 that applied for citizenship by naturalization and the requirements to be met are clearly stated in section 26 of the constitution.
“Then there is citizenship by registration and that is what is popularly known as Niger-wives which is for women in foreign countries who married to Nigerian citizens. That is also clearly spelt out in section 27 of the constitution.”
The Interior Minister said the procedure for granting citizenship takes a number of steps and this has been done since 2013, resulting in some backlog of applications.
Dambazzau also explained that some of the applications were dropped after preliminary investigations on each applicant matching with the requirements.
The minister stated that all the successful applicants had complied with the sections 26 and 27 of the Nigerian constitution.
Section 26 of the 1999 constitution states that a person may be registered as a citizen of Nigeria, if the President is satisfied that – he is a person of good character; he has shown a clear intention of his desire to be domiciled in Nigeria; and he has taken the Oath of Allegiance prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution.
The provisions of this section of the law shall also apply to any woman who is or has been married to a citizen of Nigeria; or every person of full age and capacity born outside Nigeria any of whose grandparents is a citizen of Nigeria.