Oct 4, 2015


Jane sat in the plane as it cut through the sky towards New York, her twin babies would be due very soon and she will most likely be delivering them in the United States. The trip cost her and her husband a lot of money but they believed it was well worth it. They trusted the foreign health care system better than the system back home and they believed the doctors would be more competent. The knowledge that her children will be U. S citizens also wasn’t lost on her.

Jane’s story is quite familiar; many parents always love to deliver their children abroad knowing they will be citizens of these foreign nations. This was also the case in England until the British repealed the law.

However, foreign nationals who have their children born in Nigeria cannot have the same privilege Jane would have, as children born in Nigeria whose parents are not Nigerian citizens do not automatically become Nigerian citizens. The law on Nigerian citizenship can be found in the Constitution.

Section 25 of the 1999 Constitution provides that only the following persons are citizens of Nigeria by birth namely;

  • Every person born in Nigeria before the date of independence either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents belong to a community indigenous to Nigeria; Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Nigeria by virtue of this section, if neither of his parents nor any of his grandparents was born in Nigeria

  • Every person born in Nigeria after the date of independence either of whose parents or grandparents are citizens of Nigeria;

  • Every person born outside Nigeria either of whose parents is a citizen of Nigeria.

This is the position of the law.

Adedunmad Onibokun Esq.