Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has said Nigerians who are leaving the country for greener pastures should know that lots of foreign nationals keep applying for our citizenship.
Fashola revealed this during a ChannelsTV program anchored by Maupe Ogun.
According to him, citizens should always prefer to work in their own country.
He added that he personally had the opportunity of studying abroad but he preferred to live in Nigeria.
His words, “I had the opportunity of studying abroad and I preferred to live in Nigeria. I didn’t like the weather, I didn’t like the accommodation, I didn’t like the food and my position hasn’t changed. And I won’t carry another passport.
“My children were all born here. They were all raised here. Unfortunately, they had to take part of their university abroad, but as soon as they are done, they are back.
“I don’t want to apply for a work permit in another man’s land to be able to work.
“I think it’s important for the ministry of interior to now focus and publish the number of foreigners who are applying for Nigerian citizenship every year. Because I sit in council and I see the approvals being given. There are a lot of people applying for Nigerian citizenship every year.
“They have been applying since the ‘50s. There are people who do not look like you and I, but they were born here. Every year, Mr. President still considers applications for citizenship in this country that some people don’t like.”
On inter tribal weddings, “For those who think that there’s a real divide between Christians and Muslims, I tell them, just go to the marriage registry on Saturdays. And you’ll see how irrelevant it is for those young men and women setting out on their lives.
“They are marrying themselves and you’ll see marriages from the south of Nigeria…check…Igbo is marrying Yoruba, Yoruba is marrying Fulani…it’s going on. So, people who want to divide the country are the ones hyping these things. People are getting on with their lives,”
On religion, “The other part of religion I want to talk about is a belief system that we must get rid of because it is unhelpful to our developmental aspirations. I know that people will criticize me for this, but look, listen: there’s enough work for God to do, but we haven’t done our own share.
“So, when our children pass (an exam), we thank God. When we build a house, we thank God. When we win a match, we thank God. When we do anything! In our daily conversations now, there’s too much God. We should get to work. It’s a mindset thing. In my view, it then doesn’t give you confidence that you actually achieved anything if everything was done by God.”