FG confers Nigerian citizenship on 286 foreigners
The federal government on Thursday in Abuja conferred Nigerian citizenship to 286 foreigners including 86 Lebanese, 14 Britons, and four Americans.
The affected foreign nationals were conferred with the status of Nigerian citizenship by President Muhammadu Buhari following an approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The deserving persons who signed to be Nigerians, 208, were conferred citizenship status by naturalisation.
The remaining 78 were conferred with the same status by registration after they officially recited the oath of allegiance and the Nigerian national pledge.
Speaking at the event, Mr Buhari directed the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to immediately issue the new Nigerians with certificates as appropriate.
This, he said, was to enable them to begin to enjoy the status conferred on them wherever they reside in the country.
Mr Buhari urged them to endeavour to make positive contributions to the different communities they reside, and abide by the ideals of the nation.
He said that the ceremony was a constitutional requirement aimed at removing the tag of “statelessness” on every bonafide citizen of the country.
Mr Buhari admonished them to be good ambassadors of the country while reciprocating the love and acceptance from the Nigerian people.
According to the Nigerian leader, as they have become bonafide citizens of Nigeria, the nation’s history will become their own history.
He said that only deserving persons were accorded with the right to citizenship after a painstaking assessment from the Nigerian government.
Earlier, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, revealed that the foreigners had gone through a series of thorough checks by the nation’s security agencies before being considered qualified and deserving Nigerian citizenship.
The minister urged the new Nigerian citizens to guard their privileged status jealously.
He said that citizenship of Nigeria also conferred on them corresponding responsibilities to contribute their quotas to facilitate the development of Nigeria generally.
“Today’s ceremony is a reminder of our common human ancestry,” the minister said.
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