Nigeria grants citizenship to 217 foreign nationals

By The Citizen

The Minister of Interior, Mr Abba Moro, on Monday in Abuja presented 217 foreign nationals with certificates of Nigerian citizenship.

The minister also presented 129 nationals with of naturalisation while 88 were given certificates by registration.

The nationals included men and women from Lebanon, Ghana, Pakistan, India, Russia and America, among others.

Moro said the presentation was in line with President Goodluck Jonathan's transformation ideals of strict adherence to due process and transparent procedures.

He said the award of certificates was in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and was granted after a thorough process to deserving nationals who sought Nigerian citizenship.

While presenting the certificates, the minister admonished them to abide by the ideals and institutions of the Nigerian national flag, anthem, pledge and to respect all constituted authorities.

He urged them to make positive and useful contributions to the advancement, progress and well being of the different communities they resided in.

“you all are asked to enjoy all rights and privileges within the confines of the law conferred on you by the new status as Nigerians.

“You are also to fulfill your fundamental obligations and responsibilities to the country,' he added.

The minister reiterated the administration's commitment to the strategic role Nigeria played in the comity of nations in its quest for greater human integration, peace and prosperity.

Mr Adetayo Sode, the Director of Citizenship and Business at the Ministry of Interior, said those granted certificates were persons married to Nigerian spouses.

Sode also said that those who are 20 years and above and had stayed in the country for about 15 years were given the citizenship.

He said all the recipients had clean records as they had to be cleared by the Nigerian Immigration Service, the police and their states of residence.

Mr Calvino Erico, a representative of the recipients, expressed joy at the development and assured Nigerians that the beneficiaries would abide by the laws of the country