In 2019, there was a foreign man residing in Nigeria who complained about some of the challenges he faced in obtaining Nigeria citizenship despite her marriage to a Nigerian lady.
The law that makes provision for foreigners to become a citizen of Nigeria is called the Nationality Law.
It is the law that governs everything relating to citizenship and every other category of Nigerian nationality.
Requirements on how to obtain this are clearly spelled out in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.
So, what is citizenship?
Citizenship is a status that is legally granted to an individual that gives the person the privilege to enjoy the full rights that are provided by the country’s constitution. Such individual owes full allegiance to the country.
4 Ways In Which Nigeria Citizenship Can Be Obtained
- Citizenship by Birth
- Citizenship by Registration
- By Naturalisation
- Citizenship by Descent
Citizenship by Birth
This is for those who were born in Nigeria. Although being born in Nigeria does not automatically confer Nigerian citizenship.
Every person born in Nigeria after the date of independence (October 1, 1960), either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents belongs or belonged to a community indigenous to Nigeria;
Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Nigeria by virtue of this section if neither of his parents nor any of his grandparents was born in Nigeria.
Every person born outside Nigeria either of whose parents is a citizen of Nigeria.
Citizenship By Registration in Nigeria
To apply for Nigeria citizens through registration, the applicants must meet the following requirements:
He must be of good character
He must provide two people to testify to that he is of good character, one of the references should be a religious minister.
He has shown a clear intention of his desire to domicile in Nigeria; and
He has taken the Oath of Allegiance prescribed in the Seventh Schedule of Nigeria’s Constitution.
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 can submit application.
Nigeria Citizenship By Naturalization:
This is done through an application to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
The applicant must be of full age and capacity
He must be of good character
He must be able to show that he has clear intention of his desire to be domiciled in Nigeria
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
He must have assimilated into the way of life of Nigerians in that part of the Federation;
He must be ready to make significant contribution to the advancement; progress and well-being of Nigeria
He must have taken the Oath of Allegiance prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to 1999 Nigeria Constitution as amended.
He must have 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.
He is a person who has made or is capable of making useful contribution to the advancement; progress and well-being of Nigeria.
Requirements for Nigeria citizenship by descent
Child, at least one of whose parents is a citizen of Nigeria, regardless of the child’s country of birth.
The following persons are eligible to become citizens through registration: A foreign woman who marries a citizen of Nigeria.
Person who is of adult age (17), born outside Nigeria, any of whose grandparents is or was a citizen of Nigeria. A foreign child adopted by Nigerian parents.
The President may deprive a person, other than a person who is a citizen of Nigeria by birth or by registration, of his citizenship, if he is satisfied that such a person has, within a period of seven years after becoming naturalized, been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than three years.
Loss of Citizenship:
Loss of citizenship is possible through
- voluntary and
Voluntary renunciation of Nigerian citizenship is permitted by law. Contact the Embassy for details and required paperwork.
A naturalized citizen, before seven years of residence, sentenced to prison for three years or more. A registered or Naturalized citizen is convicted of acts of disloyalty to Nigeria and her law.