As from January 2018, all Nigerians applying for new or renewed International Passport must have their National Identification Number (NIN) provided by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
This new measure, which also applies to foreigners applying for new or renewal of residence permits, was announced by the Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede, after a meeting of National Database Harmonisation Committee at the Aso Rock Villa yesterday.
The challenge of harmonising database of Nigerians in the country has been lingering for years as different government and private agencies dissipate time and resources engaging in separate biometric data registration for their official records and purposes.
The Immigration boss acknowledged this when he spoke to State House Correspondents after the meeting chaired by Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
“The harmonisation of data requires all of us to act but the biggest problem we are facing is that everybody is deploying their 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, that is National Identity Number.
“Why we are doing this is that we want to ease doing business in Nigeria. There is no need for you to go and have your biometric captured by NIMC and then you come and capture again with the Nigeria Immigrations Service.
“Once you give us your NIMC number, we will collect the biometric from NIMC and produce your passport. That is the intention for all other agencies.
“I have also given directive that any foreigner, non-Nigerian resident in Nigeria, will not get his permit renewed until he or she has a NIMC number.