Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has charged the 2023 Advisory Committee on Nigeria Citizenship (ACNC) to expedite action in the processing of applications for Nigerian citizenship.
The Minister gave the charge at this year’s first meeting of the 2023 Advisory Committee on Nigerian Citizenship (ACNC) held at the boardroom of Correctional, Civil Defence, Fire Service and Immigration Board (CDFIB) in the Ministry of Interior, Abuja on Tuesday, 7 February, 2023.
He instructed the Committee to fast track the procedures and timeouts recommendations of qualified applicants.
The Minister bemoaned the 15-year residency constitutional requirement as too long and a disincentive for foreigners who would have loved to become Nigerians and add to national development.
Aregbesola said, “I am looking forward to some changes in the requirements, expedited processing of applications and timeous recommendation of qualified applicants to Mr President for confirmation.
The Minister added that the applicants for the Nigerian citizenship come from virtually all the nations of the world, many of them evidently more affluent than Nigeria. This shows indisputably that Nigeria has an irresistible attraction for them, in spite of her numerous challenges, Aregbesola said.
The Minister is concerned that after many years, only 286 were able to cross the huddle to become Nigerian citizens in the exercise completed in September last year at a ceremony presided over by President Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa Banquet Hall.
He maintained that the country received applications on daily basis from aliens who have so much love for the country and would like to become her citizens.
Speaking further at the meeting, the Minister of Interior said “Nigeria is a very great country and is the envy of many nations , including developed ones. Nigerians all over the world continue to distinguish themselves in the academia, the professions, sports and in entertainment. Just this weekend, a Nigerian singer, Tems, won a laurel in the prestigious Grammy Awards, in the United States, shooting our nation to global reckoning. She followed a long list of Nigerians that have been so honoured at this zenith of music appreciation and reward event in past years.
The Committee Members were drawn from within the ministry and outside the ministry, which includes Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), Directorate of Security Service,(DSS), Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (OAGF), Foreign Affairs Ministry and Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), were present at the meeting.