The Federal Government has introduced the ‘Brown Card’, a new permit document granting authorisation to foreign nationals to live and work on a permanent basis in Nigeria.
This latest move was revealed as FG granted Nigerian citizenship to 385 foreign nationals who had decided to make Nigeria their country by naturalisation.
At the event which was organised at the Nigeria Correctional Service Headquarters, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council had approved the introduction of the “Brown Card”.
“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. 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; and Male foreign nationals married to Nigerian women for a minimum period of one year,” the Minister said.
Aregbesola further praised the efforts of the administration for making the country conducive enough for foreigners to want to make Nigeria their home.
He said; “I need to state that the acquisition of Nigerian citizenship is a great privilege and not everyone that applies becomes successful. However, that we have a high number of foreigners willing to become Nigerians is an indication that the ongoing efforts of the Federal Government to make Nigeria a destination for investment and peaceful coexistence is beginning to yield good fruits as we continue to welcome foreigners to do business here who, after interacting with us, are now desirous of becoming one of us,” he noted adding that President Buhari’s administration had been fortunate to have had the biggest amount of foreigners who have been conferred Nigerian Citizenship through naturalization or registration
“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.”