According to an official statement, over 300 Nigerians have renounced their citizenship in the last 16 years, with over half of them renouncing in 2022.
The Permanent Secretary of the Interior Ministry, Shuaib Belgore, stated that between 2006 and 2021, 150 Nigerians renounced their citizenship while 159 renounced in 2022 alone.
He did not specify the reasons behind the renunciations, but it is believed that mass migration of Nigerians in recent years may have played a role, as some individuals have sought to become citizens of other countries.
Countries like the US allow for dual citizenship, but others like Austria do not, which may have led to some Nigerians renouncing their citizenship.
There has been mass migration of Nigerians, mostly middle class, seeking greener pastures. The understaffed health sector is arguably the most hit with hundreds of doctors leaving annually for countries such as the UK, Canada, and South Africa.
The Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola, also mentioned the mass migration of Nigerians, saying that it is having a significant impact on his ministry, which issues passports through the immigration service.
Aregbesola stated that Nigeria issued about 1.9 million passports in 2022, the highest in seven years, and that the increase is likely due to the large number of Nigerians leaving the country in search of better opportunities.
He said the mass migration is having a huge impact on the functions of his ministry which issues passports through the immigration service.
“It has a huge impact because there is a heavy demand on passport issuance. And if you look at the trend it is more in the South than in the North and we are responding to it,” Aregbesola said.
While scores of people are renouncing their Nigerian citizenship, many foreigners seek to be citizens of the country. The President explained that out of the 286 foreign nationals presented with certificates of Nigerian Citizenship, 208 received certificates for Naturalisation, while 78 got certificates by Registration.
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