Generally speaking people who are born into a country and whose parents are themselves citizens of that country are called citizens. To be a citizen is to be a legal member of any community of that country who enjoy full legal social political and economic right as oppose two non citizens who cannot enjoy them. It is therefore considered a privileged status to be called a citizens.
However citizenship status vary from one country to another and in nigeria the question who is a nigerian citizen is clearly written in the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.
Who is a Nigerian citizens?
In accordance with the constitution of the federal republic of nigeria a citizen is any person who born in nigeria before october 1st 1960 either of which parent or any of who’s grand parent belongs or belong to any community indigenous to Nigeria. Also any person born after October 1st 1960 within or outside Nigeria order of whose parent is a citizen of Nigeria is a citizen.
Acquisition of nigerian citizenship
According to chapter 3 of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, the Nigerian citizenship could be acquired by birth registration/marriage and by neutralization it could also be acquired by conferment.
Citizenship by Birth
According to the constitution the following person shall be citizen of Nigeria by birth.
a. Every person born in Nigeria before the date of independent 1st October 1960 either of whose parent or any of whose ground parent Be long or belonged to a community indigenous to Nigeria. A person shall not become a citizen of nigeria if neither of his parent nor any of his grandparents was a Nigerian citizen.
b. Every person born in Nigeria after the date of independent of whose parent or any of whose grandparents is a citizen of Nigeria.
c. Every person born outside Nigeria either of whose parent is a citizen of Nigeria.
Citizenship by registration
A person may be registered as a citizen of Nigeria if the president is satisfied that;
a. He is a person of good character
b. He has shown a clear intention of his desire to be domiciled in Nigeria.
c. He has taken the oath of allegiance prescribed in the sixth schedule of the constitution.
The provision of this section shall apply to:
a. any woman who is or has been married to a citizen of Nigeria.
b. Every person of full age and capacity born outside Nigeria any of whose grand parent is a citizen of Nigeria.
Citizenship by naturalization
According to the constitution of the federal republic of nigeria any person who is qualified may apply to the president for the grant of a certificate of neutralization. The qualification include:
a. he is a person of full age and capacity
b. He is a person of good character
C. He has shown a clear intention of his desire to be domiciled in Nigeria.
d. He is in the opinion of the governor of the state where he is or he proposed to be resident acceptable to the local community in which he is to live permanently and has been assimilated into the way of life of Nigerians in that part of the federation;
e. He is a person who has made or is capable of making useful contribution to the advancement progress and well-being of Nigeria
f. He has taken the oath of allegiance prescribed in the constitution.
g. He has immediately preceding the date of his application either
h. Resided in Nigeria for a continuous period of fifteen years.
I. Resided in Nigeria continuously for a period of 20 month and during the period of 20 years immediately preceding that. Of 20 month has resided in nigeria for a period amounting in the aggregate to not less than 15 years.
Citizenship by conferment
citizenship of nigeria can also be conferred on a distinguished individual of another country as a mark of honour in recognition of the person’s contribution to the development of the country. Head of state and distinguished political personality of another country sometimes acquire distance of citizenship
1. In accordance with the provision of the constitution a person forfeit his nigerian citizenship if not being a citizen of nigeria by bet he acquired or retain the citizenship or nationality of a country other than nigeria of which he is not a citizen by birth.
2. Ne registration of a person as a citizen of nigeria or the grant of a certificate of naturalization to a person who is a citizen of a country other than nigeria at the time of such registration or grant shall if he is not a citizen by birth of that other country be conditioned upon the effective renunciation citizenship or nationality of that other country within a period of not more than 12 months from the date of such registration or grant.
The purposes of (1) and (2) is to check mate the idea of citizen dual citizenship.
that is to say A Nigerian citizen cannot take up the citizenship of another country at the same time. He has to renunce one, for example one cannot have citizenship of nigeria and that of Ghana. And once one renounce the the citizenship of Nigeria, he is no longer expected to live in nigeria having the dual citizenship can create a heaven for criminals who if commit crime in one country can run to another country for refuge.
Renunciation of Nigerian Citizenship