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 certificates while 88 were given certificates by registration. The nationals included men and women from Lebanon, Ghana, Pakistan, India, Russia and America.
Moro said the presentation was made 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.
The minister admonished them to abide by the ideals and institutions of the Nigerian national flag, anthem and pledge, as well as 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 reside in. “You all are enjoined to enjoy all rights and privileges within the confines of the law conferred on you by your 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 committee of nations in its quest for greater human integration, peace and prosperity.
Mr Adetayo Sode, the Director, Citizenship and Business, Ministry of Interior, said those granted certificates were persons married to Nigerian spouse. Sode said 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 the various states where they live. Mr Calvino Erico, a representative of the recipients, expressed joy over the development and assured Nigerians that the beneficiaries would abide by the laws of the country.
The Leader, House of Representatives, Rep. Mulikat Akande-Adeola and the Commandant-General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Ade Abolurin are among the dignitaries that witnessed the presentation.
Others include the Comptroller-General Nigeria Immigration, Mr David Paradang; the Controller-General, Federal Fire Service, Mr Olusegun Okebiorun and the Controller-General, Nigeria Prison Service, Mr Zakari Ibrahim.