The Federal Government has rejected 165 citizenship applications submitted by foreigners.
Minister of Interior Abdulraman Danbazzau spoke to State House correspondents at the end of Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He was with the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, and Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
Danbazau said of 500 applications, 335 were recommended for citizenship, and were approved by FEC yesterday.
The 335 citizenship applications, he said, included 245 citizenship by naturalisation and 90 citizenship by registration.
He said: “The Ministry of Interior memo is granting of citizenship to non Nigerians who applied. This is a procedure that takes a number of steps. The last time this was done was in 2013. We have some backlog of these applications.
“Over 500 applications that we considered, out of these, 335 were recommended for citizenship and this memo was brought to council to that effect. Citizenship is either by naturalisation or by registration.
“There are 245 that applied for citizenship by naturalisation and the requirements to be met are clearly stated in Section 26 of the constitution.
“Then there is citizenship by registration and that is what is popularly known as Niger-wives which is for women in foreign countries who married to Nigerian citizens. That is also clearly spelt out in section 27 of the constitution.
“So, the requirements are there and we considered them. Those who met the requirement, the advisory council recommended and sent to council for approval.
“So, today, FEC approved the recommendations of those who applied, 335 of them. 245 by naturalisation and 90 by registration.”
He explained that some of the applications were disqualified based on preliminary investigation.
He said: “This is because, there is representation of all the agencies where these applications are taken. So, it is not just the issue of criminality, there are requirement laid down in the constitution and each of these requirements must be met by every applicant.
“The moment any applicant doesn’t meet any of the requirement, check section 26 and 27 of the constitution, they are clearly stated there. If there are security issues, the security agencies will bring them out to say that a person belongs to a given group in-terms of security risk. But apart from that, we followed the rules and regulations, those constitutional requirements must be met.”
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