Beginning from 2018, anyone without a national identification number will be unable to obtain the Nigerian passport. This was made known by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Comptroller General Mohammed Babandede. he said this after a meeting with the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Department of the Presidential Villa.
According to him, the decision was made in conjunction with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), with the aim to harmonize all data collected from citizens by government agencies. Below is the excerpt of his statement:
“The bulk lies on all our table. It is the harmonisation of data and requires all of us to act but the biggest problem we are facing is that everybody is deploying his own technology. There is a practical commitment to this.
“We have agreed that from 2018 1st January, anybody who is going to apply for Nigerian Passport, whether renewal or fresh must first have an NIMC number, national identity number.Why we are doing this is we want to ease business for Nigerians. There is no need for you to go and have your bio-metric captured by NIMC and then you come and capture again with the Nigeria Immigrations.
“Once you give us your NIMC number, we will collect the bio-metric from NIMC and produce your passport.That is the intention to do in all other agencies. I have also given directive that any foreigner, non-Nigerian resident in Nigeria will not get his permit renewed. He or she will not get his passport 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. All NIMC staff can work in our passport office so when you come to get the passport, you can also get the national identity card.
“The NIMC has also allowed immigration staff to work in their offices so that anybody who is coming to claim Nigerian citizenship, they will help to identify that citizen. That is the cooperation that we have had so far”.