How Many Citizenships Does Nigeria Allow?

Have you ever wondered how many citizenships Nigeria allows? Well, the answer might surprise you! Nigeria, as a country, has a unique approach to citizenship, granting its citizens the right to hold only one citizenship at a time. This policy is grounded in the belief that by limiting multiple citizenships, it promotes a sense of loyalty and unity among its citizens. In this article, we will explore the reasoning behind Nigeria’s strict policy and its implications for those seeking dual citizenship. So, if you’re curious about the Nigerian citizenship rules, buckle up and let’s explore together!

Nigerian Citizenship


Nigerian citizenship refers to the legal status held by individuals who are recognized as citizens of Nigeria. It grants them specific rights, privileges, and responsibilities within the country.


To obtain Nigerian citizenship, individuals must meet certain criteria set by the Nigerian government. These criteria may vary depending on the method through which citizenship is acquired, such as by birth, descent, naturalization, or registration.


Dual Citizenship


Dual citizenship, also known as dual nationality, refers to the status of an individual who holds the citizenship of two different countries simultaneously. Nigeria allows its citizens to hold dual citizenship under certain conditions.


To be eligible for dual citizenship in Nigeria, individuals must have Nigerian citizenship by birth, descent, or registration. Those who acquire Nigerian citizenship through naturalization are not eligible for dual citizenship.


Dual citizenship provides several benefits to individuals. It allows them to enjoy the rights, privileges, and protections offered by both Nigeria and their other country of citizenship. Dual citizens can also travel more freely between the two countries and have the ability to work or study in either country without restrictions.



While dual citizenship offers numerous advantages, it also has some disadvantages. Dual citizens may be subject to the laws and obligations of both countries, which can sometimes lead to conflicts or confusion in legal matters. Additionally, some countries may impose limitations or restrictions on dual citizens, such as restrictions on owning land or participating in political activities.

Multiple Citizenship


Multiple citizenship refers to the status of individuals who hold the citizenship of more than two countries. Although Nigeria allows dual citizenship, it does not explicitly allow multiple citizenship.


Nigeria does not have specific regulations regarding multiple citizenship. However, it is important to note that some countries do not recognize or accept multiple citizenship. Therefore, individuals seeking multiple citizenship should thoroughly research the laws and regulations of both Nigeria and the other country/countries involved.


As Nigeria does not explicitly allow multiple citizenship, individuals holding citizenship in more than two countries may face unique challenges. They may encounter restrictions on travel, employment, or other activities in certain countries. It is crucial for individuals with multiple citizenship to become familiar with the potential limitations and obligations they may face.

Citizenship by Birth

Automatic Citizenship

Nigeria provides automatic citizenship to individuals who are born within its territory, subject to the exceptions outlined by the Nigerian Constitution. This principle is known as jus soli or “right of the soil.”



To be eligible for automatic citizenship by birth, individuals must be born in Nigeria and meet the requirements outlined in the Nigerian Constitution. This includes being born to at least one Nigerian citizen parent, or being born in Nigeria to parents who are stateless or of unknown nationality.

Citizenship for Children Born Abroad

Nigeria also grants citizenship to children born to Nigerian parents outside the country. These children are eligible to apply for Nigerian citizenship by descent and enjoy the same rights and privileges as those born within Nigeria.

Citizenship by Descent


Citizenship by descent is available to individuals born outside Nigeria who can prove that at least one of their parents is a Nigerian citizen. This category allows individuals to claim Nigerian citizenship through their lineage.

Steps to Obtain

To obtain citizenship by descent, individuals must provide evidence of their parent’s Nigerian citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport. They may also need to provide additional documentation, such as an affidavit confirming their relationship to the parent.


Apart from proving the parent’s Nigerian citizenship, there may be additional requirements, such as submitting an application form, fees, and other supporting documents. These requirements may vary depending on the circumstances and the Nigerian government’s regulations.

Citizenship by Naturalization

Eligibility Criteria

Citizenship by naturalization is available to foreign nationals who have lived in Nigeria for a specified period and meet certain criteria. This option allows foreign individuals to acquire Nigerian citizenship through a formal application process.


The requirements for citizenship by naturalization may include being of good character, having resided in Nigeria for a certain number of years, being able to speak and understand the English language, and demonstrating knowledge of Nigerian customs, culture, and history.

Application Process

To apply for Nigerian citizenship by naturalization, individuals must submit an application to the Nigerian government, along with the required documents and fees. The application will be reviewed, and if approved, the individual will take an oath of allegiance to Nigeria.


Citizenship by Registration


Citizenship by registration is available to individuals who may not qualify for citizenship through other methods, such as by birth or descent. It provides an avenue for specific groups or individuals to become Nigerian citizens through a formal registration process.


The requirements for citizenship by registration may vary depending on the circumstances and the group or individual seeking citizenship. Common requirements include having resided in Nigeria for a specific period, being of good character, and providing the necessary supporting documents.

Application Process

To apply for citizenship by registration, individuals must submit an application to the Nigerian government, along with the required documents and fees. The application will be reviewed, and if approved, the individual will be granted Nigerian citizenship.

Loss of Nigerian Citizenship

Voluntary Renunciation

Nigerian citizens have the right to voluntarily renounce their citizenship if they wish to acquire another citizenship or for personal reasons. This process requires submitting an application to renounce Nigerian citizenship and following the procedures outlined by the Nigerian government.

Citizenship Acquisition of Another Country

Nigerian citizenship may be automatically lost if an individual voluntarily acquires citizenship from another country. The Nigerian government does not recognize dual citizenship for individuals who acquire citizenship of another country voluntarily.

Deprivation of Citizenship

In certain cases, Nigerian citizenship may be deprived by the government if an individual engages in actions that are deemed to be against the interests of Nigeria or if the citizenship was obtained through fraud or false representation.

Dual Citizenship with Other African Countries

African Union Policy

The African Union (AU) has established a policy known as the African Union Model Law on Elimination of Statelessness, which encourages African countries to allow dual citizenship and protect the rights of dual citizens. Nigeria is a member of the AU and supports this policy.

Specific Agreements

Nigeria has signed bilateral agreements with some African countries, allowing for dual citizenship between those specific countries and Nigeria. These agreements outline the conditions and benefits of dual citizenship for citizens of both countries.

Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities

Rights of Nigerian Citizens

Nigerian citizens enjoy various rights, including the right to vote, the right to own property, the right to freedom of speech and expression, the right to education, and the right to participate in political activities, among others. These rights are protected by the Nigerian Constitution.

Responsibilities of Nigerian Citizens

In addition to their rights, Nigerian citizens also have responsibilities to fulfill. These responsibilities include obeying the laws of the country, paying taxes, serving in the Armed Forces if required, and actively participating in the development and progress of Nigeria.

In conclusion, Nigerian citizenship can be obtained through various means such as by birth, descent, naturalization, or registration. Dual citizenship is allowed under certain conditions, providing individuals with the benefits of holding two citizenships. Nigeria also recognizes the rights and responsibilities of its citizens, ensuring that they can participate fully in the country’s social, political, and economic life.

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