Some recipients of the 2023 Award of Nigerian Citizenship with VP Osinbajo and Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola. Photo: State House
385 foreigners from the US, UK, and other countries are now Nigerian citizens.
At the 1st 2023 Award of Nigerian Citizenship by Registration and Naturalization held in Abuja on Saturday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said Nigeria’s cultural diversity, hard work, innovation and infectious optimism of its people were some of the attributes that make it a great country, one that welcomes all classes of people from all over the world.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande indicated that among the 385 recipients of the 2023 Nigerian Citizenship are British national, Prof. David Jowitt and several Americans including Mrs Janice Opkanachi, all of whom have made their marks in different spheres of the Nigerian society, impacting many lives.
Prof. Osinbajo told the recipients that Nigeria’s greatness can be partly attributed to its diversity.
“Nigeria is a nation brimming with cultural diversity. We have a rich history of immigration from all over, Africa and beyond. The greatness of our nation can be partly attributed to this. Numerous contributions have been made by immigrants to Nigerian society throughout our history. A lot of our current traditions, music, food and art have been richly influenced by people and cultures beyond our borders. We are diverse but we remain bound and united by a shared history, undergirded by constitutional guarantees of liberty and equality. We celebrate our diversities believing from knowledge, history and experience that we are strengthened by these differences”, he said.
According to the Vice President, it was a thing of joy and pride when foreigners settle in the country, feel at home, and thrive.
He urged the newest citizens of the country “to go beyond their pledge of loyalty to the flag, laws, as well as the high ideals of the anthem and national pledge to do what they have pledged in their daily lives and in all situations.
The VP also told them what it meant to be Nigerian.
“We love our festivals, and family celebrations, who can beat the Nigerian wedding? Our music and films are everywhere in the world, our doctors, engineers, scientists, sports and literary figures are excelling daily, everywhere,” he said.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola commended the beneficiaries of the 2023 Nigerian Citizenship for believing in the country in spite of the challenges, noting that the Buhari Administration had laid the foundation for making it easier for more foreigners to contribute meaningfully to the development of the country as citizens.
He said that due to improvements in the processes of awarding citizenship to non-Nigerians, more foreigners have received citizenship under the Buhari Administration than any government in the history of the country.
Writing by Annabel Nwachukwu