- FG Extends Citizenship to 335 Foreigners
The Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Dambazzau (rtd), disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The minister said the last time such exercise was done was in 2013. This, he said, explained the backlog of applications.
He said government rejected 165 citizenship applications.
The minister was accompanied by the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, andthe Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
Danbazau said out of 500 applications that were considered, 335 were recommended for citizenship approval to FEC and that the council gave its approval yesterday.
The 335 citizenship applications that were approved, he said, included 245 citizenship by naturalisation and 90 citizenship by registration.
He said: “The Ministry of Interior memo is granting of citizenship to non Nigerians who applied. This is a procedure that takes a number of steps. The last time this was done was in 2013. We have some backlog of these applications.
“Over 500 applications that we considered, out of these, 335 were recommended for citizenship and this memo was brought to council to that effect. Citizenship is either by naturalisation or by registration.
“There are 245 that applied for citizenship by naturalisation and the requirements to be met are clearly stated in section 26 of the constitution.
“Then there is citizenship by registration and that is what is popularly known as Niger-wives which is for women in foreign countries who married to Nigerian citizens. That is also clearly spelt out in section 27 of the constitution.
“So, the requirements are there and we considered them. Those who met the requirements, the advisory council recommended and sent to council for approval.
“So, today, FEC approved the recommendations of those who applied, 335 of them. 245 by naturalization and 90 by registration,” he said.
He explained that some of the applications were disqualified based on preliminary investigation.
The minister said: “This is because, there is representation of all the agencies where these applications are taken. So, it is not just the issue of criminality, there are requirements laid down in the constitution and each of these requirements must be met by every applicant.
“The moment any applicant doesn’t meet any of the requirement, check section 26 and 27 of the constitution, they are clearly stated there. If there are security issues, the security agencies will bring them out to say that a person belongs to a given group in-terms of security risk. But apart from that, we followed the rules and regulations, those constitutional requirements must be met.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N1.735 billion for completion of the water supply project in Sabke Dam in Katsina State.
The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu disclosed after the FEC meeting held in Abuja yesterday.
He said the council also considered memo for the upgrade of some software for the operations of National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and memo to provide information system for the mining sector.
Adamu said: “We presented two memos, one had to do with the completion of the water supply project in Sabke Dam in Katsina State at the cost of N1.735 billion. This is an abandoned project and in line with the current government’s commitment to complete ongoing and abandoned projects as much as possible that the continuation and completion of this project was approved.
“Council approved outlined business case for the concessioning of the Gurara 30 megawatt hydro power plant which is suppose to fit into the industrial area of Kaduna city.”
The minister also disclosed that he inherited 117 ongoing and abandoned projects when he assumed office in November 2015.
He said he inherited debt profile of N89 billion comprising claims by contractors.
According to him, N250 billon is needed to complete the 117 ongoing projects.
Adamu said: “Our task has been to concentrate more on completing some of these projects so we set out to do a technical audit early last year on these projects based on which we prioritized them – top, medium and low priority.
“Some projects that were thought not to be worthwhile were cancelled. This project approved happens to be one of the top priority project that is why we are willing to spend little more money to get the value for which the project was intended.
“We are going to continue like that and we hope to complete at least 25 per cent of that 117 ongoing projects in the 2017 budget. We were able to complete one last year which was the Central Ogbia Water project, the next one will be the Northern Ishan in Edo State.
“These projects cut across water supplies, dams, hydro power and irrigation. They are all being accorded their own priority. That technical audit has helped us in prioritizing our capital projects in 2016 and it helped us to prepare in 2017 budget to enable us have a clear view of which project we want to do.”
He said that the government in the next two years will de-emphasising on new projects so that ongoing projects can be completed.
“Most of these projects have direct impact on the citizenry and so there is no reason why they should be abandoned. This year we will continue to complete these projects notwithstanding that they were initiated by previous government. It doesn’t mean we will not embark on new projects but we will only do new projects that are very critical to the current infrastructural requirements.
“For instance, from 2018 in the ministry of water resources, we intend to embark on setting up additional irrigation and hydro projects. These are the two priority areas for the next three four years.
“So while we are doing these projects we will be praying for new projects so that by the time those projects are completed we will now have an overlap so that as we are finishing some we are starting other ones.
“Everyone is going to be under the framework of the National Water Resources Masterplan which was revived and updated from 2016 to 2030 in accordance with water resources roadmap approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in June last year.
“Some projects had reached advanced staged while others were stuck due to lack of budgetary allocation for several years. For the northern Ishan project for instance we need additional N200 million to be injected into the project which is far less compared to what has been spent which is close to N3 billion. Once the stolen and vandalized components are fixed we will be ready to commission the project.”
Nigeria Immigration Service Reopens Portal With New Passport Application and Payment Process
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has announced the reopening of its passport application and payment portal.
The assistant comptroller of immigration, Mr Amos Okpu announced in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
In the statement, Mr Muhammad Babandede, the Comptroller-General of the service, said the portal became effective for new applications from 12 midnight on Tuesday.
Babandede further said that the portal would allow eligible applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of passports of their choice.
Mr Muhammad Babandede explained that with the reopening of the portal, a new passport application and payment regime had begun.
The statement in full:
“The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (CGI), Muhammad Babandede MFR, has announced the reopening of the Passport application and payment portal effective 8th June 2021 by 12 midnight to allow eligible Passport applicants to apply and make payments for the various categories of Passports of their choice.
The Passport portal was closed following the directives of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on the 17th of May, 2021to afford the Service the opportunity to clear all backlogs of applications that have piled up across Issuing Centres in the past few months.
With the reopening of the portal, a new Passport application and payment regime have commenced. Under the new Passport regime;
Applications and payments for Passport services shall be made through the Service website www.immigration.gov.ng;
- applicants are expected to visit the portal to apply and upload their support documents for vetting and processing;
- a chat room facility to guide applicants through the application and payment process has been provided on the portal;
- upon successful applications, applicants shall make their online booking interview/enrollment appointment on any day, time and location they consider convenient;
- that the new timeline for Passport production and issuance after a successful enrollment at the selected Issuing Centre shall be six weeks for Fresh applications and three weeks for Re-issue (Renewal applications);
- that no applicant who is yet to make an online application and payment shall be allowed into any of the Passport Issuing Centres for Passport processing;
- applicants will be contacted through email and phone number they provided during application when their Passports are ready;
- a helpline with the number 08021819988 has been provided for feedback mechanism on any challenges.
The Comptroller General, Muhammad Babandede MFR wishes to use this medium to call on Nigerians and indeed Passport applicants to avoid patronizing touts as the entire process has been made seamless for effective and efficient service delivery. He warned Passport racketeers to desist from acts capable of undermining the reform efforts to avoid very strict sanctions.
Signed AMOS OKPU MNIPR
ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER OF IMMIGRATION
SERVICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
For: COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF IMMIGRATION 8TH JUNE, 2021″
INEC To Publish The List Of New Polling Units Next Week
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged to publish a comprehensive list of its new polling units across the nation next week.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja.
Yakubu was speaking at the formal handing over of a new state of the art fire truck, deployed to the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja by the Federal Fire Service (FFS).
He said that details of the locations of its registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration for resumption of nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) would be made available in the second week of May.
He expressed appreciation of the commission to the FFS and all security agencies for the demonstration of their support to protecting INEC facilities
He said that the support was coming on the eve of the resumption of the CVR nationwide in the next three weeks.
“We earlier assured Nigerians that we shall conclude work on the expansion of voter access to polling units and make the new polling units available to citizens ahead of the CVR exercise.
“I am glad to report that we have accomplished this task for the first time in 25 years.
“A comprehensive list of the new polling units will be published next week.
“Similarly, details of the locations of the registration centers and the procedure for the commencement of online registration will also be made available after a series of regular consultative meetings with stakeholders next week,” Yakubu said.
He said that as a member of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) FFS had been as concerned as other security agencies about the recent attacks on our offices across the country.
“This is particularly so because out of the 42 attacks on our facilities nationwide, 18 incidents resulted from arson and three more by a combination of arson and vandalisation.”
Yakubu recalled that concerned by those incidents, the commission convened an emergency meeting of ICCES last week of April, where the security agencies renewed their determination to collaborate more with the commission.
According to him, they pledged to assist the commission address the challenge beyond the routine protection of INEC assets and the security of its officials, voters, observers, the media, candidates and their agents during elections.
“On its part, the Federal Fire Service offered to deploy an additional state-of-the-art fire engine to the INEC headquarters to complement the two existing trucks.
“At the same time, it directed its state offices to take additional protective measures around other INEC facilities nationwide.
“Today’s inauguration of the new fire engine is another affirmation of the support to the commission from the FFS whose personnel, already deployed permanently to the commission
“The personnel will continue to operate and maintain the fire engines and other firefighting equipment installed by INEC,” Yakubu said.
Speaking earlier, the Controller-General (CG) of FFS, Alhaji Liman Ibrahim said the deployment of the firefighting truck was premised on recent fire attacks on INEC offices in different parts of the country.
Ibrahim, represented by the Assistant Controller-General of the service, Mr Samson Karebo, said the deployed truck would serve as fire cover for the premises of INEC headquarters and the entire Maitama vicinity of Abuja.
“The FFS is taking this step as a proactive measure to protect our critical infrastructure and help to protect our economy by forming synergy with all stakeholders in protecting our environments.
“Our center is focused on bringing firefighting operations to every part of the country as part of our statutory duties by having a presence in virtually every state in Nigeria
“The FFS will very soon be moving into all senatorial headquarters in the country. That is how we want to operate for now so that we can touch every corner of this country,” Ibrahim said.
He called for the cooperation of all for the service to better serve the nation by not molesting FFS staff in the line of duty.
In his remarks, the National Security Adviser (NSA) retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, who is also Co-Chair of ICCES, described the deployment of the truck as a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to sustain Nigeria’s democracy and address insecurity.
Monguno said that the gesture also symbolised commitment to a clear affirmation of Buhari toward protecting institutions of government, toward securing their property, toward fighting acts of irresponsibility, vandalisation and outright criminality.
“The President is determined as much as he can within the confines of legality to suppress any kind of criminality and destruction of public property.
“This is something that he is determined to do regardless of whatever the challenges are.
“He will apply all the resources in his disposal in his capacity as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to ensure the wider Nigerian society is safe, stable and is allowed to carry out its legitimate undertaking, free from any act of insecurity,” he said
Monguno urged all other security agencies not to relent in ensuring that they continued to protect lives and property.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba pledged commitment to security agencies to work with INEC and protect INEC’s facilities, citizens’ life and property.
Also at the occasion was the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, represented by Director of Joint Services, Mr Peter Obodo; as well as the representative of Director-General, Directorate of State Services, Tony Adikweruka.
Recovered Assets: Ad-hoch Committee Gives Emefiele, Others 72 Hours Ultimatum
The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, investigating recovered assets, has given the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, 72 hours to appear before it.
The committee also issued same ultimatum to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, and the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh.
The summon was issued on Monday, after Mr Emefiele and the others failed to appear before the committee.
The government officials had sent representatives, but the committee chairman, Adejoro Adeogun (APC, Ondo), said they failed to forward letters to that effect.
He said allowing representatives without a proper letter of introduction would be akin to allowing “impersonators.”
“You are indirectly insulting the House of Representatives. You are undermining the House of Representatives,” an angry Mr Adeogun said.
Moving a motion to give the agencies 72hours to appear before the committee, Ibrahim Isiaka (APC, Ogun), said the agencies created by Acts of the parliament “should not be undermining the parliament”.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the committee.
Mr Isiaka suggested that the House should shut down its activities if the agencies fail to appear before them.
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