The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has warned that any person without an identification number from the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) from 1st January 2018 will not be issued with the Nigerian passport.
It also said that anybody that intends to apply for the renewal of his or her passport or wants a fresh passport but is residing outside the country will first have identification number from NIMC or will be denied issuance or renewal of the passport.
The Comptroller-General of NIS, Mohammed Babandede, disclosed this in Abuja after a meeting of database harmonization committee on Tuesday.
He explained that the reason behind the new policy was for ease of business in the country.
Babandede said that before now, the biggest challenge in getting the adequate data of those doing business in the country was that different parastatals and organizations were deploying their own technology without collaboration or synergy with sister organizations.
He said: “The buck lies on all our table. It is the harmonization 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 a NIMC number, national identity number. Why we are doing this is we want to ease business for Nigeria. 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 renewed until he has a NIMC number. To achieve this, NIMC and passport numbers will be harmonized 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 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.”
On whether those intending to have passport will have tax certificate before collecting passport, NIS CG said, “We are not talking of tax, we are talking of e-government. We want to have one e-government. What government is saying is that when you want to collect any facilitate 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.”