President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, awarded Nigerian citizenship to 286 foreign nationals, during a ceremony at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. During the ceremony Mr. President urging them to be good citizens of the country to enjoy all the rights and privileges bestowed on them. Of the deserving persons who signed to be Nigerians, 208 were conferred citizenship status by naturalization, while the remaining 78 gained their citizenship by registration. ”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 beneficiaries during the event. 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 for Registration.
The conferment tool place after they officially recited the oath of allegiance and the Nigerian national pledge.
According to President Buhari, during his address, the conferment followed a recommendation from the Ministry of Interior to the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
“My fellow Nigerians, it is with great joy and pride that I invite you to join me today to welcome citizens from other corners of the world over into the Nigerian family. 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 tradition. Nigeria is your home and your pride and joy.
“You have pledged your allegiance to Nigeria. When you give your love and loyalty to Nigeria, she returns her love and loyalty to you. Together, we are a nation united by principles of opportunity, equality, and liberty that are enshrined in our constitution.
“The advisory committee on Nigeria citizenship made its recommendation to the FEC, which graciously granted approval to 286 awardees. This approval is in line with the provision of the 1999 Constitution as amended of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chapter three, Section 26 and 27.
“It is significant to note that the Federal Government in 2020 adopted the National Action Plan to eradicate statelessness. Accordingly, the interior minister inaugurated the high level steering committee to eradicate statelessness in Nigeria by 2024. This ceremony, therefore, today is a further demonstration of the Federal Government’s commitment and the determination to remove as many people as possible from statelessness.”
President Buhari, however, directed the Nigerian Immigration Service to immediately issue the new Nigerians with certificates as appropriate to enable them begin to enjoy the status conferred on them wherever they reside in the country.
He encouraged them to make positive and useful contributions to the advancement, progress and wellbeing of the different communities they reside in.