ABUJA – From January 1, 2018, no international passport would be issued by the Nigeria Immigration Service without the applicant providing National Identification Number (NIM).

Similarly, no foreigners residing in the country would be issued permit without having an identification number.

Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammed Babadede, disclosed these to State House correspondents after a meeting of the database harmonization committee on Tuesday.

He said the move was part of efforts to have a centralized database for Nigerians that would also contain biometric data.The immigration boss revealed that 20million Nigerians have so far been registered in the National Identification database under which it hopes to capture about 180million in the next three years.

He said the immigration and the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) would collaborate to realize this objectives.

He said: “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.

“I have also given directive that 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 harmonised and we are committed to allow NIMC in Immigrations office.”

Babadede explained that this was part of efforts to strengthen the ease of doing business in the country in line with the Presidential Ease of Doing

Business Council’s (PEBEC) mandate.

He added: “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.”

Babaded noted that NIM and passport numbers would be harmonized, noting that NIMC staff would be allowed to work in passport offices so that “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.”

Also speaking, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Information Communication and Technology, Lanre Osibona, said the government intent on ensuring the delivery of a concise database for all Nigerians.

Source: Nigerian Tribune