6 July 2010

Nigeria: Dual Nationality Hampers Economic Growth - Oluyede

Lagos — A Germany-based Nigerian businessman, Mr. Felix Oluyede has advocated for a law banning Nigerians from holding dual nationality, which he said, affects the nation's economic growth.

Oluyede said corruption in high places was being aided by dual citizenship arrangement to loot the treasury and weaken the economy, adding that as soon as they perfect the plan, they leave the country.

He said huge amount of money is being lost on daily basis to money laundering and other forms of financial crimes in the name of foreign investments by some Nigerians.

"The feeling is that the other country of the person's nationality will readily be a safe haven for him, which will shield him away from possible prosecution," he said.

According to him, physical and infrastructural developments through the nation's budgetary provisions have been hampered as money meant for such projects ended up in private pockets.

Oluyede however urged the federal government to as a matter of urgency, promulgate a law banning politicians with dual nationalities from contesting the coming general elections.

He noted that based on past experience, most of our political office holders with dual nationality are more prone to corrupt tendencies,"

"Experience in the past has shown that security operatives and other law enforcement agencies had hectic time extraditing such persons to face prosecution for their dubious activities," he said while arguing that, though there may be no law banning holding of dual nationality by the citizen, but it should be discouraged to improve our economic base and boost investment opportunities.

Oluyede said Nigerian business community in Germany where he has stayed for more than 40 years viewed the issue with serious concern and as a form of discouragement to invest in the country.

The Ekiti-born industrial engineer said, the business community in Germany perceived those with dual nationality as playing double standards against their country of birth.

He also decried the rate at which Nigerians compete for purchase of choice properties abroad, saying "corruption in government will continue to hinder economic development in the African continent as funds meant for development were being converted to private usage,".

The business community with the Nigerian embassy in Germany in its effort to discourage corrupt practices had exempted Nigerians with dual nationalities from attending its meetings. "By banning of those having dual nationality from meetings and other steps taken with the embassy in Germany, financial and other related crimes have been greatly reduced," he said.

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