President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday officially conferred Nigerian citizenship rights to no fewer than 286 persons made up of Lebanese, Egyptians, Syrians, Italians, Palestinians, Americans, among others.
A breakdown shows that 208 of them were given citizenship by naturalization while 78 others got theirs based on registration.
Topping the list of beneficiaries are 86 Lebanese, while other foreign nationals made up the remaining 200.
Conferring the citizenship rights on them at the Presidential Villa Abuja, Buhari admonished them to be good ambassadors of the country while reciprocating the love and acceptance from the Nigerian people.
He said now that they had become bonafide citizens of Nigeria, “our history will become their own history”, stressing that only deserving persons were accorded with the right to citizenship after painstaking assessment from the Nigerian government.
According to the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, the first person to be conferred with Nigerian Citizenship was Miss Theresia Chidiac of 16A, Manchester Road, Kano, Nigeria with effect from 18th July, 1964 based on Section 7(1) of the 1963 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Thursday’s conferment ceremony is the first to take place since 2018.
Aregbesola said the awardees came from every part of the world, “saw the good in our land and the beauty of our people and system; and have decided to be part of us”.