No ID number, no passport from 2018 — NIS

Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede

The Nigeria Immigration Service says from January 1, 2018, anybody without the National Identification Number, issued by the National Identity Management Commission, will not be able to procure Nigerian passport.

The Comptroller-General of the NIS, Mr. Mohammed Babandede, disclosed this on Tuesday to State House correspondents after a meeting of database harmonisation committee at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

This condition applies to both first-time applicants and those renewing their expired document.

Babandede said the decision was taken as part of the Federal Government’s efforts to ease the process of doing business in the country and as well as create what he called e-government.

He said thenceforth, individuals will not need to have their biometrics captured by the NIS and NIMC separately.

He said, “The biggest problem we are facing is that everybody is deploying his own technology; but harmonisation of data will solve that. We have agreed that from January 1, 2018, anybody who is going to apply for the 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 process of doing business in Nigeria. There is no need for you to go and have your biometrics captured by the NIMC and then you come and capture again with the Nigeria Immigration Service.

“Once you give us your NIN, we will collect the biometrics from the NIMC and produce your passport.”

Babandede said he had directed that permits of foreigners resident in Nigeria should not be renewed without the NIN.

He also said identification numbers and passport numbers would be harmonized in other to achieve this.

“The NIMC workers 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 allowed immigration workers to work in their offices. So, 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,” he explained.

He said individuals who want to collect anything from any government agency, shouldn’t have difficulty as the agency would be able to access it. He said verification of tax payment should be possible for government agencies which will determine whether you get whatever it is you want 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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