MINA Blog- Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) has granted Nigerian citizenship to 286 foreign nationals.
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who made this known to State House correspondents at the end of the Council meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday, said the successful candidates emerged out of 600 applicants.
He disclosed that 208 of those approved were granted citizenship by Naturalization, while 78 others were granted citizenship by registration, and they cut across various countries of the world.
“The Ministry of Interior through me presented the Advisory Committee on Nigeria citizenship approval to the Council today. And is the first set by the end of this first quarter or latest by the middle of the year another set will be presented to council.
“But what is it about? We received 600 applications from several people, foreign nationals who have been residing in Nigeria, but desirous of being Nigerians.
“These applicants are from virtually every part of the world. Americans, North and South Korean, Australians, Europeans, Arabs, Asians, all over of the South Africans.
“Out of the 600 applicants, the Advisory committee approved for the consideration of the council 280. Before the presentation, let me say, some agents of government scrutinized these applicants.
“The Agencies are the department of State security, the foreign affairs ministry, the Nigeria immigration service, and the state of domicile of those individuals,” he said.
The Federal Government had in 2017 granted 335 foreign nationals Citizenship.
Also commenting on Wednesday’s approval, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described the decision as groundbreaking, especially at a time “when some Nigerians say the country is unfit to live in.’’
He said: “It’s a groundbreaking memo as it will tell you because just as some people think Nigeria is not a fit and proper place to live, we have thousands of people who are applying daily all over the world from virtually every continent to be citizens of Nigeria; I think that is very instructive.”
Also addressing the correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika disclosed that the Council also approved N12.097 billion for the award of contract for the replacement of weather measuring equipment at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
He said the decision to replace the equipment was in line with the current administration’s policy of renovating decayed infrastructure at the country’s airports.
“Today in council, a memo was presented by us in aviation for the replacement of our AVO bridges and the amount of the contract to be awarded is N12, 097, 215, 800.09 including 7.5 percent Value Added Tax.
“The duration for the contract is 12 months.
“This contract is not only for supply but it is also for supply but it is also for installation and maintenance including spare parts and this has been approved by council.
“This is part of all that we have been doing to re-activate the failing infrastructure within the country and of course Lagos being a major airport in the country, this will make passenger facilitation easier and safer as well as add value and create more efficiency within the system of that particular airport,” he said.
Sirika said the renovation process would be replicated in other airports across the country.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, also revealed that the council approved N1.8billion for the completion of a section of the local content building in Yenegoa, Bayelsa.
“The Council closed out the contract for the construction of the 17 storey local content building in Yenagoa. You will recall that in 2020, the President already commissioned that project.
“There were some ancillary works that had to be done to connect some of the buildings. And that was now presented to council for the sum of N1.817 billion.
“And this now closes this contract and we have told the contractor this is the full and final payment for everything.
“So, this is the end of this project and we have completely delivered this to Nigerians,” he said.
On the recent importation of contaminated fuel into the country, the minister explained that the matter is already being tackled by relevant authorities with a view to identifying the culprits for possible sanctions.
He said: “The issue did not come up in Council, but of course, you will recall I was here yesterday to brief Mr President on the issue.
“I’m not in a position to disclose the identities of the companies, but there are some issues and we are actively tackling it.
“Nobody has before now, checked for methanol in our fuel, it’s not very usual and this is the first time this is happening and NNPC is very much up to the task but we’re actively handling it and I want to assure you that the problem will be a thing of the past very soon.”