On Tuesday, August 1, 2017, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (“NIS”), Mohammed Babandede, disclosed to State House correspondents after a meeting of the database harmonization committee that as from January 1, 2018, no international passport would be issued by the Nigeria Immigration Service without the applicant providing National Identification Number (“NIMC NUMBER”) issued by the National Identity Management Commission (“NIMC”).
The country is working with the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation in order to have a proper approach on how to achieve this and capture over 180 million citizens over a three year period.
- Persons without the NIMC number will not be issued Nigerian passports from the effective date (same applies to renewals).
- Any foreigner, non-Nigerian resident in Nigeria will not get his permit renewed until he has a NIMC number. To achieve this, NIMC and passport numbers will be harmonized.
- NIMC staff would be allowed to work in passport offices so that when people come to get their passports they can also get the National identity card.
- The new requirement is expected to streamline the passport issuance process as there will be no need for bio-metric capturing at the NIS once an applicant has the NIMC Number.
This measure will go a long way in ensuring that the NIMC number would help in tackling security challenges, bring in innovation in doing business, ensures social and financial inclusion. It will also aid to ensure the entrenchment of one functioning central system in the country where anyone can secure needed facility from any of the agencies of government as well as a full concise database for all Nigerians all over the world.