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How to Become a Nigerian Citizen

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How to Become a Nigerian Citizen | Question people do also ask: What are 4 ways to become a citizen? How is citizenship deprived in Nigeria? Can a Nigerian president have dual citizenship? How do you become a citizen of a country in Nigeria? all answers are here below;

Often regarded as the ‘Giant of Africa’, Nigeria is one of the leading African countries where non-citizens can choose to become citizens. Although the Nigerian nationality law allows almost anyone to become a citizen of the country, it does not practice Jus soli, meaning ‘right of soil’. The ‘right of soil’ which is commonly known as birthright citizenship in the United States, is a law that automatically grants citizenship to anyone born within the territory of the country, regardless of their parents’ place of origin.

Related Post: Nigerian International Passport – Apply Here Online

3 Steps to Become a Nigerian Citizen

In Nigeria, unless one of a non-citizen’s parents is a Nigerian, someone born in Nigeria cannot become a citizen by virtue of their birth. So in order to become a Nigerian citizen, there are certain processes that must be followed.

A person can become a citizen in Nigeria:

1. By Birth
2. By Registration
3. By Naturalisation

4. Honorary Citizenship

1. By Birth: Through Nigerian Parents

This one is a matter of natural selection as no one can really choose their parents. So, anyone who is lucky enough to be born by a Nigerian father or mother (or both) whether in Nigeria or abroad, automatically becomes a Nigerian citizen. You don’t have to do much in this case.

The law states in Chapter 3, Section 25 of the Nigeria constitution:

“Any person, either of whose parents or grandparents were or were born in Nigeria to parents who belong to a community indigenous to Nigeria, is entitled to automatic Nigerian Citizenship.”

2. By Registration: Through Marriage or Adoption

Partial citizens are required to register their interest in becoming Nigerian citizens before they can be granted full citizenship. Those who fall under this category are any woman who is or has been married to a citizen of Nigeria or someone who was born abroad but adopted by a Nigerian. Someone with verifiable Nigerian ancestry can also be granted citizenship by registration.

Chapter 3, Section 26 of the Nigerian constitution states that such a person can be granted citizenship if the President is satisfied that they are a good person. Such testimony can be obtained from two persons, one of whom must be a religious minister. The person applying for registration will also be required to show interest to be domiciled in Nigeria and take Oath of Allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

This part of the constitution is controversial due to its gender imbalance. The law implies that while a Nigerian man can register his foreign wife as a Nigerian citizen, a Nigerian woman cannot do the same for her foreign husband. But many legal experts argue that both male and female Nigerians can have their spouses registered as citizens of the country.

Documents required for registering for citizenship in Nigeria are;

Duly completed application for registration Proof of payment of the prescribed fee.
Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance.
Evidence of the applicant’s present citizenship or nationality status must be attached to the application form ( eg birth certificate, *passport, citizenship certificate, etc).
Birth Certificate of the parent/husband.
Marriage Certificate.
Death Certificate of husband.
Certificate of Registration of Citizenship.
Medical Report.
2 Copies of a recent full-face photograph of the applicant.

3. By Naturalization: Through Personal Application

Anyone who has lived continuously for up to fifteen years in Nigeria and has reached a legal age is qualified to apply to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for citizenship through naturalization.

The person is expected to be of good character, and who, in the opinion of the Executive Governor of the State where he or she is living, proved that he has assimilated to the Nigerian way of life. Once successful, they’ll be granted a Certificate of Naturalisation.

Similar to registration, here are documents required to apply for citizenship through Naturalization.

Duly completed application for naturalization.
Proof of payment of the prescribed fee.
Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance.
Evidence of the applicant’s present citizenship or nationality status must be attached to the application form ( eg birth certificate, *passport, citizenship certificate, etc).
Birth Certificate of the parent/husband.
Marriage Certificate.
Death Certificate of husband.
Certificate of Registration of Citizenship.
Medical Report.
2 Copies of a recent full-face photograph of the applicant.

4. By Honorary Citizenship

This form of citizenship is conferred on a person as a mark of honour and is done by the President of Nigeria on very rear occasions. For example, in 2005 honorary citizenship was conferred on Wesley Snipes, a famous Hollywood actor, while on a three (3) day working visit to Nigeria. This was done by the then President of Nigeria, President Olusegun Obasanjo

Now, from all that has been stated above, I for one am of the opinion that it is actually quite difficult to become a Nigerian citizen. A lot of Nigerians might not feel that being part of this great nation is anything to write home about. Some will even renounce their citizenship in a heartbeat if given the opportunity to do so. For those who feel this way, I would like you to think of those individuals who jump through hoops to apply to become Nigerian citizens and ask yourself ‘What can they see that I can’t see?’ because believe me, there is something.

Why become a Nigerian citizen?

Nigeria is the giant of Africa. It might not seem like much now, but the country has the potential of becoming a global powerhouse. Moreover, being a citizen of the most populous and influential black nation on earth can be a satisfying experience. It will give you an opportunity to discover and be a part of some of the most vibrant people in the world. With over 250 ethnic groups, Nigeria is filled with enriching cultures, amazing cuisine (jolof!), and all manners of physical and natural resources.

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