By Abdullahi M. Gulloma Abuja
Obtaining National Identifi cation Number (NIN) is now mandatory for Nigerians seeking fresh or renewal of their international passport, the federal government, said yesterday. Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigraition Service, Mr. Mohammed Babadede, who disclosed this disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting of the Database Harmonisation Committee, said the new rule takes eff ect from January 1, 2018.
He said government would also collapse all the various databases into a centralised database on January 1 next year to help in forecasting, national security, planning and budgeting processes. “We have agreed that from 1st January, 2018, anybody who is going to apply for Nigerian Passport, whether renewal or fresh must fi rst 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 offi ce,” he said. He said 20 million Nigerians have so far been captured in the NIN database and that government’s targets is to capture about 180 million in three years, stressing that the new directive is part of eff orts to have a centralised database for Nigerians that would contain full bio-metric data.
Th e NIS boss, who briefed alongside Senior Special Assistant to the President on Information Communication and Technology, Lanre Osibona, said the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the NIS would collaborate on the new initiative. He said the initiative is also aimed at easing business environment in the country in line with the Presidential Ease of Doing Business Council’s (PEBEC) mandate.
“Th ere 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. Th at is the intention to do in all other agencies,” he said.