- Brown Card, a new legal document for permanent residency for qualified foreign nationals, has been introduced by the federal government of Nigeria
- This announcement comes as 385 foreign citizens from various nations received Nigerian citizenship.
- There are four conditions to qualify for permanent residency
The “Brown Card,” a new legal document for permanent residency for qualified foreign nationals, has been introduced by the federal government.
This announcement comes as 385 foreign citizens from various nations received Nigerian citizenship.
Rauf Aregbesola, the interior minister, announced the arrival of Nigeria’s Brown Card following approval from President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council in his remarks at the conferral ceremony held at the headquarters of the Nigerian Correctional Service.
What he said
According to the Minister,
- “I am happy to announce the Brown Card, as the legal instrument to Permanent Residency. The Minister of Interior is now invested with the authority to confer Permanent Residency on non-Nigerian persons, enabling such beneficiaries to live and work in Nigeria without the requirement of renewal every five years, as was the case.
- “The legal instrument that would confer this newly created status is to be called the Brown Card.
He also said,
- “I need to state that the acquisition of Nigerian citizenship is a great privilege and not everyone who applies becomes successful
- “We do have a high number of foreigners willing to become Nigerians and this is an indication of the ongoing efforts of the Federal Government to make Nigeria a destination for investment and peaceful coexistence
- “It is beginning to yield good fruits as we continue to welcome foreigners to do business here who, after interacting with us, is now desirous of becoming one of us”.
The Minister added that Nigerian citizenship has been granted to most foreigners through naturalization or registration so far under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
He said that,
- “In 2017, 335 people took up Nigerian citizenship. But last year, 286 foreigners and today at this ceremony, 385, making a total of 1,006 who have acquired Nigerian citizenship.”
Those qualified for the card
Those who are qualified for this new instrument of Permanent Residency are as follows:
- Foreign nationals of African descent who desire to make Nigeria their homeland through the ‘Privilege of Return’
- Foreign nationals who desire to invest in Nigeria in line with established guidelines
- Foreign nationals who had demonstrated exceptional talents, knowledge and skills in rare fields of Science, Technology, Medicine, Engineering, the Arts, Sports and other areas as might be determined from time to time
- Male foreign nationals married to Nigerian women for a minimum period of one year
Presenting all deserving foreign nationals to President Buhari for the conferment of Nigeria citizenship, Aregbesola argued that a large number of foreigners aspiring to become citizens of Nigeria is proof of the Federal Government’s ongoing efforts to promote Nigeria as a location for investment and peaceful coexistence are bearing fruit.
However, Aregbesola reminded the new citizens that they would be expected to contribute to Nigeria’s development in every way possible, including the defence of her territorial integrity (if necessary) and the advancement of social welfare.
To conclude the ceremony, Ziad Mouannes, MD of Setraco Nigeria Limited, who spoke in the Vote of Thanks on behalf of the new citizens, thanked the Federal Government for giving them the chance to become citizens of the nation.
He promised that the new citizens of Nigeria would endeavour to live peacefully as law-abiding citizens and make positive contributions to the country’s growth and development.