From January 1, 2018, anybody without a National Identification Number issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) will not be able to procure a Nigerian passport.
The condition applies to both first-time applicants and those renewing their expired document.
The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Mr. Mohammed Babandede, disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting of the Database Harmonisation Committee held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
Babandede said the decision was taken as part of the Federal Government’s efforts to ease the process of doing business in the country.
He said henceforth, there would be no need for individuals to have their biometrics captured by the NIS and NIMC separately.
He said, “The harmonisation of data and requires all of us to act but the biggest problem we are facing is that everybody is deploying their own technology.
“There is a practical commitment to this. We have agreed that from January 1, 2018, anybody who is going to apply for Nigerian Passport, whether renewal or fresh application, must first have a national identity number.
“Why we are doing this is that we want to ease business for Nigerians. There is no need for you to go and have your biometrics captured by NIMC and then you come and capture again with the Nigeria Immigrations.
“Once you give us your NIN, we will collect the biometrics from NIMC and produce your passport. That is the intention to do in all other agencies.”
Babandede said he had directed that have also given directive that permits of foreigners resident in Nigeria should not be renewed without NIN.
To achieve this, the NIS boss said identification numbers and passport numbers would be harmonised.
“All NIMC staff can work in our passport office. So, when you come to get your passport, you can also get the national identity card.
“The NIMC has also allowed immigration staff to work in their offices. So, if anybody is coming to claim Nigerian citizenship, they will help to identify that citizen. That is the cooperation that we have had so far,” he explained.
Babandede said government’s aim was to put in place what he called e-government.
“What government is saying is that when you want to collect any facility from any government agency, you don’t need to look for the document from any other government agency. We should be able to access it, we should be able to know whether you have paid your tax or not.
“If you are coming through the airport and you want to leave Nigeria, we should be able to know that this guy has not paid his tax and you should be able to pay your tax before you depart. We are looking at one e-government and it is possible,” he explained.
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