The Federal Government has revealed that 309 Nigerians have renounced their citizenship in the last 16 years, with over half of them renouncing last year, as disclosed by the Ministry of Interior. “Down to those Nigerians who renounce their citizenship, so far we have registered a total of 309,” said Shuaib Belgore, the permanent secretary of the interior ministry. Mr. Belgore, addressing journalists at the State House in Abuja on 26th January 2923, disclosed that between 2006 and 2021, 150 Nigerians renounced their citizenship while 159 renounced in 2022 alone.
He did not state the reasons why the Nigerians renounced their citizenship. However, there has been a mass migration of Nigerians in recent years, some of whom have sought to be citizens of other countries. While many countries including the US allow for dual citizenship, others like Austria do not, thus necessitating applicants to renounce the citizenship of their previous country.
At the same briefing where Mr Belgore spoke, the interior minister, Rauf Aregbesola, also bemoans the mass migration of Nigerians stating that Nigeria issued about 1.9 million passports (1,899,683) to citizens in 2022, the highest in seven years. He said the increase is a result of the massive exodus of Nigerians out of the country in search of greener pastures.
On the sidelines of the media briefing, he disclosed that the Advisory Committee on Nigerian Citizenship has scheduled a meeting for the 7th of February to consider another 350 foreign applicants seeking Nigerian citizenship.
Dr. Belgore stated: “After the meeting, these applications for naturalization, when successful, will be sent to Mr. President-in-Council for approval. Now down to those Nigerians who renounce their citizenship, so far we have registered a total of 309.