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Helpful Little Articles: How To Become A Nigerian Citizen

The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria allows citizenship on four conditions:

1. Birth,

2. Descent (Parental Heritage),

3. Registration (Marriage),

4. Naturalization

If you are a natural born Nigerian citizen or even born to a Nigerian parent(s) abroad, then this piece probably is not for you because citizen is automatically bestowed on you.


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If you do not fulfill the aforementioned criteria though, then you would probably be seeking Nigerian citizenship through registration or naturalization and to that effect, the constitution lays out the process.

Registration

This kind of citizenship is typically for individuals who are foreigners married to Nigerians, persons aged 17 or younger who have Nigerian grandparents and minors of foreign birth who are adopted by Nigerian parents. If you fall into this category, the constitution stipulates through Section 26;

1) Subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, a person to whom the provisions of this section apply may be registered as a citizen of Nigeria, if the President is satisfied that –

(a) He is a person of good character; two people to testify to that which one should a Religious minister

(b) He has shown a clear intention of his desire to be domiciled in Nigeria; and

(c) He has taken the Oath of Allegiance prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution.

(2) The provisions of this section shall apply to –

Any woman who is or has been married to a citizen of Nigeria or every person of full age and capacity born outside Nigeria any of whose grandparents is a citizen of Nigeria.


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Naturalisation

Section 27 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic allows for an individual to become a naturalised citizen through the following processes:

(1) Subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, any person who is qualified in accordance with the provisions of this section may apply to the President for the same of a certificate of naturalisation.

(2) No person shall be qualified to apply for the grant of a certificate or naturalisation, unless he satisfies the President that –

(a) He is a person of full age and capacity;

(b) He is a person of good character

(c) He has shown a clear intention of his desire to be domiciled in Nigeria;

(d) He is, in the opinion of the Governor of the State where he is or he proposes to be resident, acceptable to the local community in which he is to live permanently, and has been assimilated into the way of life of Nigerians in that part of the Federation;

(e) He is a person who has made or is capable of making useful contribution to the advancement; progress and well-being of Nigeria;

(f) He has taken the Oath of Allegiance prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution; and

(g) He has, immediately preceding the date of his application, either- (i) Resided in Nigeria for a continuous period of fifteen years; or (ii) Resided in Nigeria continuously for a period of twelve months, and during the period of twenty years immediately preceding that period of twelve months has resided in Nigeria for periods amounting in the aggregate to not less than fifteen years.

Application Process

Required Documents

  • Medical Report
  • Duly completed application form
  • Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance
  • Evidence of the applicant’s present citizenship status i.e. birth certificate, passport, citizenship certificate
  • Parent or spouse’s birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Death certificate of spouse (husband)
  • Certificate of registration of citizenship
  • 2 copies of a full-faced passport photograph

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    Once you confirm you are eligible for Nigerian citizenship:

  1. Collect a citizenship application form the Citizen Services Centre at the National Civil Registration, Abuja or any of its satellite offices nationwide (call 09-5230667-9).  
  2. Fill out the application properly and accurately and submit at Immigrations and Checkpoint Authority.
  3. You as an applicant will be interviewed by an immigration officer. Here, your application documents will be examined and you will be required to make a declaration to the effect that all the documents you supplied are authentic. If you are foreign a woman married to a Nigerian man, your husband must be present at the interview. The Nigerian Constitution does not presently make provisions for a foreign man to gain citizenship via marriage to a Nigerian woman. If the citizenship is being obtained on behalf of a minor, the child must be present at one stage of the process – either at the interview or collection stages.
  4. You will be notified of the outcome of your application by email. The email will indicate the appointment date for filling the Nigerian citizenship register as well as what documents will be required.
  5. You can then proceed to the Department of Immigration Services for letters indicating renunciation of old citizenship and turn in your passport. This process is only applicable under special conditions, as individuals can now hold citizenship in of two countries concurrently.
  6. Prepare all the necessary documents as were indicated and proceed to the Immigration Services on the appointed date. Obtain a queue number to complete your registration, then apply for a national identity card (NIN) and a Nigerian passport.
  7. You will be mandated to attend a citizenship conferment on a later date.  



Sources:

Legit NG

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999)

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David Okwara

Some call me David. Others, Emerie. Others, (unfortunate fellows) Biggie. I like to think that I have sense and that is why I write too. Otherwise, I draw and paint and sing (in the bathroom) and love to make people laugh. I love to understand how things work and that’s why I love DIY videos and YouTube of course. Follow me on Twitter @EmerieOkwara

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