The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has said that the Federal Executive Council, FEC, approved the granting of citizenship to 286 foreign nationals out of the 600 who applied.
He disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the virtual Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Ogbeni Aregbesola stated that he presented to the council the approval made by the Advisory Committee on Nigeria citizenship, comprising the first set.
He explained that another set is expected to be presented by the end of the first quarter or latest by the middle of the year.
He said, “But what is it about? We received 600 applications from several people, foreign nationals, who are in Nigeria, who have been residing in Nigeria, they are desirous to be Nigerians.
“These applicants are from virtually every part of the world. Americans, North and South Australian, Europeans Arabs, Asians, all over.”
The Minister said the advisory committee approved 286 for FEC’s consideration out of the 600 applications received.
“They are women married to Nigerians, they are called Naija wives, who, besides having the right of residency and movement, without any restriction or without requirement of visa to and fro to country are desirous of Nigerians.
“So, they become Nigerians, they get granted citizenship by registration. Whereas foreign nationals who are desirous of Nigerians, they’re not actually being wives of Nigerians, we give them citizenship by naturalization.
“So, the number of those who are granted Nigerian citizenship and naturalization, through the collection of applications is 280. While those who are issued registration is 78.
“So, today, the Council, as you can see, approved the grant of citizenship to 286 applicants for naturalization and 78 applicants for registration. Making a total of have 286 people out of 600 who apply for citizenship as eligible to be fully processed through administration of oath and certification thereafter with renunciation of citizenship that is not acquired by birth.”
It would be the second time under the life of the present administration that foreign nationals are granted citizenship through naturalization.
Recall that a total of 335 persons were similarly granted citizenship in December 2017.
In his own briefing, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said FEC approved a contract for the replacement of Aviation Operations (AvO) at the cost of N12,097,215,800.09.
He said, “So, today in Council, a memo was presented by us in aviation. And the amount of the contract to awarded whose purpose is to replace our AVO bridges is N12,097,215,800.09, which is for 12 months and it will include 7.5% VAT.
“This contract is not only for supplying but it’s also for installation and maintenance, including spare parts and is awarded to a company called Gulf of Africa International Limited.
“This has been taken by council and approved and to say that this is part of all that we’ve been doing to reactivate the failing infrastructure within the country. And of course Lagos being the major airport in the country, this will make passenger facilitation easier, safer and of course it will add value and create more efficiency within the system of that particular airport. And that this is also an ongoing programme for all of our failed airports.”