The federal government (FG) on Thursday, January 25, inaugurated a new handbook on Citizenship Administration in Nigeria.
The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo said the document would put Tinubu’s administration on the positive side of history.
The handbook prescribed conditions for the acquisition of citizenship by foreigners and citizens born outside Nigeria by Nigerian parents, amongst others.
It also prescribed conditions for “Citizenship by investment”, amongst which is “evidence of required amount for investment”, pegged at a minimum of one million United States dollars.
According to the minister, what was codified in the document if implemented seamlessly would transform management of Citizenship and business administration in Nigeria as never before.
He praised President Bola Tinubu for his vision, saying what the president has brought to the table in his Renewed Hope Agenda would bridge the gap between the strong and the weak, between the rich and the poor.
Tunji-Ojo said: “A greater Nigeria is here. You and me are here for a Nigeria that will work for all of us, both the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor. With the Renewed Hope Agenda, what Nigerians are yearning for has come to stay. There is no need for anybody to shake hands before you can do business here.
“If we practicalise what has been codified in the handbook, Nigeria will grow at the rate that’s proportionate with its rich human and materials resources”.
“We have taken critical look at the Citizenship Administration in Nigeria together with major stakeholders especially the Ministry of Justice and made far reaching amendments to the document in a way that the country would become better in all aspects of life.
“It is therefore our hope that what has been codified in the handbook will be a reality to enhance internal security in terms of entrance and exiting, granting of business permit, naturalisation and the protection of marriage institutions in Nigeria,” Dr Tunji-Ojo added.
He said the handbook covered granting of Citizenship and Residence permit, establishment and maintenance of federal marriage registries, licensing and renewal of public places of worship for celebrations of marriages and issuance of secured federal marriage certificates in federal marriage registries.
The Minister said the government had grappled over the years with institutionalising the process of Citizenship Administration, but with different challenges.
“These challenges range from processes beyond the Ministry such as security reports and response from state governments in respect of applicants to legal/jurisdiction disputes from local government authorities
“There were also other ad-hoc administrative/operational hiccups in the form of insufficient funding and capacity development gaps “, the Minister said.