Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola has bemoaned the demanding procedure that foreigners must go through in order to become citizens of the nation.
The minister criticised the 15-year constitutional residency requirement, saying it was excessively onerous on foreigners who wanted to immigrate to Nigeria and support its growth.
Aregbesola encouraged the committee to speed action on the processing of applications for Nigerian citizenship, according to a statement released on Wednesday by Afonja Ajibola, Director of Press at the Ministry of Interior.
The statement partly read, “Aregbesola said he was looking forward to some changes in the requirements, expedited processing of applications, and timely recommendation of qualified applicants to the President for confirmation.
“The minister added that the applicants for Nigerian citizenship come from virtually all the nations of the world, many of them evidently more affluent than Nigeria. This shows indisputably that Nigeria has an irresistible attraction for them, in spite of her numerous challenges.
“The minister is concerned that after many years, only 286 were able to cross the hurdle to become Nigerian citizens in the exercise completed in September last year at a ceremony presided over by President Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa Banquet Hall.”