The Nigerian government has introduced a new criteria for prospective applicants for the Nigerian passport.
According to the federal government, Nigerians will from 2018 need their national Identification Number, NIN, for the processing of the Nigerian passport.
This was made known by the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigraition Service, NIS, Mohammed Babandede who stated that no Nigerian will be able to obtain a valid Nigerian passport or renew an old international passport in the absence of the National Identification Number, NIN.
Mohammed Babandede while speaking on Tuesday to newsmen after a meeting of the database harmonisation committee stated that the latest development is part of the move by the federal government to have a centralised database for Nigerians and to also improve the business environment in the country.
He stated that the NIS is targeting about 180 million persons in the space of three years, a boost from the present number pegged at 20 million Nigerians.
He stated that foreigners will however be unable to renew their permits except they obtain an identification number.
“We have agreed that from January 1, 2018, anybody who is going to apply for Nigerian passport, whether renewal or fresh, must first have a national identity number.
“I have also given the directive that any foreigner resident in Nigeria will not get his permit renewed until he has a NIMC number. To achieve this, NIMC and passport numbers will be harmonised and we are committed to allow NIMC in immigration offices.
“There is no need for you to go and have your biometric captured by NIMC and then you come and capture again with the Nigeria immigration. Once you give us your NIMC number, we will collect the biometric from NIMC and produce your passport. That is the intention to do in all other agencies.”