The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the granting of citizenship to 208 applicants for naturalisation and 78 for registration.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said Wednesday that the 286 positive applicants were less than half of those that applied.
His counterpart in the Ministry of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the applications show that things are not as bad in Nigeria as being painted.
Speaking at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, Aregbesola said the government received 600 applications for citizenship from foreigners.
He said the applicants included Americans, Europeans, North and South Koreans and Australians.
The minister explained that the 286 shortlisted people, who are from various parts of the world, were scrutinised by relevant government organs, which obtained intelligence about them from their respective countries before giving them Nigerian citizenship.
Aregbesola said the persons approved by Cabinet 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,” he said.
“These applicants are from virtually every part of the world. Americans, North and South Korean, Australians, Europeans, Arabs, Asians, all over – 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 scrutinised 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.”