By Oladapo Okeowo
The National Identification Number (NIN) will be a prerequisite for the collection of the Nigerian passport as from January 1, 2018.
This was disclosed on Tuesday by the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammed Babandede.
He said the move, which aims to ease the process of doing business, would affect new applicants, foreign residents and those renewing theirs.
NIN is a number issued solely by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
Speaking to State House Correspondents after a meeting of the committee on database harmonisation, Babandede said the NIMC database would be shared by the immigration service.
This means those who have had their biometrics taken by the NIMC would have it taken again by the NIS.
He said, “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 January 1, 2018, anybody who is going to apply for 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 business for Nigeria. There is no need for you to go and have your biometrics captured by NIMC and then you come and capture again with the Nigeria Immigrations.
“Once you give us your NIN, we will collect the biometrics from NIMC and produce your passport. That is the intention to do in all other agencies.”
According to Babandede, the end goal is a central database and e-government where data is readily available on a myriad of information concerning an individual.
“What government is saying is that when you want to collect any facility 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,” he explained.