The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday awarded Nigerian citizenship to 286 nationals, calling on them to be good citizens of the country to enjoy all the rights and privileges bestowed on them.
‘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 by naturalisation, while 78 got certificates by Registration.
According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, 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.’
President 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.