A citizen is one who resides in a country and has unlimited power to exercise his civil, political and fundamental human rights. This means that such individual owes allegiance to that particular country and is ready to defend the territorial integrity of the country.
Citizenship on the other hand is the status of a citizen that has membership of a particular country. Hence, those that have citizenship of Nigeria are citizens of Nigeria. For holding allegiance, loyalty and performing the duties and responsibilities of the state, the citizen is therefore, offered protection by the state. This is in the spirit of “QUID PRO QUO” meaning give and take.
Benefits of being a citizen in any country
Citizenship of a country confers on individuals holding it certain benefits that non-citizens or non-holders do not enjoy. The benefits of citizenship include:
- Enjoyment of political and civil rights
- Security by and from the state
- Issuance of National Passport
- Job opportunities
- Free entry and exit from the country.
How you can be a citizen of any country
The law of every country stipulates that there are conditions and procedures an individual must necessarily satisfy or go through in order for him or her to be its citizen. The following a ways on how to you can be a citizen of any country in the world
Citizenship by Birth
A person becomes a citizen of a country if he is born within the territory of that country notwithstanding whether his parents are from that country or not. A person also is a citizen of a country if any of his parents are from the country.
In Nigeria for example, citizenship can be claimed through parentage notwithstanding whether the child is born within or outside Nigeria. However, the child cannot hold dual citizenship, that is, he cannot claim to be a Nigerian because his parents are Nigerians and hold the citizenship of another country if he is born outside Nigeria.
Citizenship by Registration
A person can be a citizen of a country through registration. This mostly occurs to women who marry foreign nationals. For instance, a Gambian woman married to a Nigerian may register as a citizen of Nigeria but she must satisfy certain conditions such as residing in Nigeria and should take the oath of allegiance to Nigeria and renounce her Gambian citizenship.
Citizenship by Naturalization
This is another way through which an individual can acquire citizenship in a country. Through this method, the individual must satisfy certain basic conditions such as in the case of Nigeria, the individual must have lived in Nigeria for not less than 15 years, he must have a job, he must be an honourable person, that is, not a criminal and must be recommended by a very important person in the country.
Citizenship by Honour
This is another way through which non-citizens can acquire citizenship of another country. The non-citizen qualifies for this having contributed immensely in any field either, social, economic, scientific ground as in medicine, sport or other areas of endeavour to a country in particular or to humanity in general.
Such individuals that acquires citizenship through honourarium, do not necessarily enjoy full political and civil rights
Citizenship by Descent
This is a method of acquiring citizenship of another country as a result of the fact that his grandparents are citizens of the country.
Citizenship by Amalgamation
This type of citizenship is acquired when two or more formerly independent and sovereign nations come together to form another nation. The citizens of the country automatically become citizens of the new country.