The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has said that beginning 2018, anyone without a national identification number will be unable to obtain the Nigerian passport.
According to , the NIS Comptroller General Mohammed Babandede said this after a meeting with the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Department of the Presidential Villa.
He said the decision was made in conjunction with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), with the aim:
- To harmonize all data collected from citizens by government agencies and this is a practical commitment to this.
- From 2018 1st January, anybody who is going to apply for Nigerian Passport, whether renewal or fresh must first have an NIMC number, national identity number.
- To ease business for Nigerians. There is no need for people have their bio-metric captured by NIMC and then come back to do a capture with the Nigeria Immigrations.
- Collect the bio-metric from NIMC and produce your passport.
- To do in all other agencies. Directive has been given to foreigners, non-Nigerian residents in Nigeria to get their permit renewed. No one gets their passport renewed until they have an NIMC number.
- To get NIMC and passport numbers harmonised. To get all NIMC staff to work in the passport office so when people come to get their passports, they can also get their national identity card.
The NIMC has also allowed immigration staff to work in their offices so that anybody who is coming to claim Nigerian citizenship, they will help to identify that citizen.
He said this will ensure what he terms “e-government,” which is the existence of a centralized data center for government agencies. He 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 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. We are looking at one e-government and it is possible.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on ICT Lanre Osibona added that the NIMC has captured the data of 20 million Nigerians.
He said the Federal Government is working in conjunction with the World Bank and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with the intention of capturing 180 million Nigerians in three years.
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