Citizenship By Birth In Nigeria

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Citizenship By Birth In Nigeria

Most of the citizens of any modern state are citizens by birth. As long as a person does not forfeit the citizenship of his country of origin, he remains a citizen of that country.

Thus, a citizen of Nigeria will continue to be a Nigerian unless he renounces his Nigerian citizenship and acquires the citizenship of another country.

For example, Miss Gloria Alozie, a Nigerian Olympic Silver medalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics allegedly renounced her Nigerian citizenship and acquired that of Spain.

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Another example is a Nigerian footballer, Olisadebe, he played football for Poland instead of his own country. But there is nothing abnormal in acquiring the citizenship of another country.

Two main principles are usually used in determining citizenship by birth. The first is by blood relationship i.e. according to the citizenship of the child’s parents and, second, according to the place of birth.

Citizens by birth based on the citizenship of the parents (otherwise called the principle of “jus sanguinis”) means that no matter where a child is born, he is considered to be a citizen of the country of his parents.

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For example, if a Nigerian family resident in France gives birth to a child while in France, that child is regarded as a Nigerian citizen.

This is the major principle guiding Nigerian citizenship.

The opposite principle, that is according to the place of birth of the child (otherwise called the principle of, “jus soli”) implies that a person is a citizen of the country where he is born regardless of the fact that his parents are aliens in that country.

Thus, as in the above example, a child born by alien parents in France can acquire French citizenship. This principle is fundamental in acquiring British and American citizenship.

In order to take advantage of this principle some middle class Nigerians and, indeed, many other nationalities have often arranged for their children to be delivered in Britain and the United States of America in particular where the children can easily acquire American or British citizenship as of right.


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