Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has asked members of the Rivers State Government Advisory Committee on Nigerian Citizenship to be thorough in recommending to the Federal Government foreign residents in Rivers State who apply for citizenship.
While inaugurating the Advisory Committee in Port Harcourt on Thursday, Governor Wike said the committee’s role in the State was critical to the development of Nigeria because persons who apply to become citizens of the nation can either damage the delicate image of the country or join hands to build it.
He charged the committee members to do intensive check on applicants who reside in the State to prevent criminal elements from becoming citizens or taking the nation for granted.
The Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, emphasized, “this is a very serious responsibility. If the respective agencies involved here carry out their jobs diligently, we should be able to find out worthy applicants without criminal records.
“For someone to come from another country to say he wants to be citizen of this nation you have to carry out an extensive screening to ascertain the applicants’ claim.
“I expect you to deliver this job with commitment and passion to enable the country filter those we show as our citizens,” he said
The Governor further requested committee members to produce authentic report on foreigners resident in the State who applied to the Ministry of Interior for Special Immigration Status/Nigerian Citizenship.
He also requested the committee to maintain a data bank of foreigners who have been granted Citizenship/Special Immigration Status that are resident in the State.
The Permanent Secretary, Special Service Bureau of the Office of the Secretary to the State Government and Chairman of the Advisory Committee thanked the Governor for the confidence reposed on members and assured to not disappoint the State and the country.
Members of the committee are Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to the State Government (Chairman), Nigerian Immigration Service, Department of State Service, Nigerian Police and National Identity Management Commission. Others are Nigerian Correctional Service, Ministry of Chieftiancy and Community Affairs and Ministry of Local Government Affairs.