286 foreigners get Nigerian citizenship

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday presided over the swearing of Oath of Allegiance to 286 foreigners who applied to adopt Nigerian citizenship.

Two hundred and eighty six foreign nationals, including four Americans, 14 Britons and 86 Lebanese, swore the Oath of Allegiance to adopt Nigerian citizenship at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, informed State House Correspondents of the Federal Executive Council’s (FEC) decision on February 9, 2022, when it approved the list of 286 foreigners, who were then seeking Nigeria’s citizenship.

”You have pledged your allegiance to Nigeria. When you give your love and loyalty to Nigeria, she returns her love and loyalty to you,” the President told the awardees during an event at the State House.

The President explained that out of the 286 foreign nationals presented with certificates of Nigerian Citizenship, 208 received certificates for Naturalisation while 78 got certificates by Registration.

He urged them to make positive and useful contributions to the advancement, progress and well-being of the different communities they reside, adding that as citizens they must be in accord with the national ethics and code of conduct.

“You are expected to abide by the Ideals and Institution of the Nigerian National Flag, Anthem, Pledge and respect for all Constituted Authorities.

“All those concerned with Immigration matters are to offer our new citizens quick legal identification. Also, their Local Governments should assist with their integration in the local community to enable them enjoy all the entitlements of a Nigerian citizen,” he said.

In exercising the constitutional powers conferred on him, by Chapter III Sections 25-31 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the President told the new citizens that Nigeria is a nation united by the principles of opportunity, equality, and liberty as enshrined in the Constitution.

“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”, he said.

Buhari recounted that the Federal Government in 2020 adopted the National Action Plan to eradicate statelessness and accordingly, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, inaugurated the High-level Steering Committee to Eradicate Statelessness in Nigeria by 2024.

The conferment ceremony was the first to take place since 2018.

Of the 286 new Nigerian citizens, 208 were conferred citizenship status by naturalization, while the remaining 78 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.

President Muhammadu Buhari

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