From January next year, Nigerians without the National Identity Number (NIN) are to be denied international passport (IPP).The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mohammed Babadede, dropped the hint yesterday after a meeting of the National Identity Management Harmonization Committee in Abuja.
Specifically, the Federal Government, in 2014, ordered all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and security organisations involved in biometric data capture, to complete their registration and handover to the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
Yesterday’s meeting was part of efforts to actualise the harmonisation process.Consequently, Babadede explained that every citizen, seeking the document, must possess the identification number as a pre-condition
His words: “We have agreed that from January 1, 2018, anybody who is going to apply for the Nigerian passport, whether renewal or fresh, must first have a national identity number. We are doing this to ease business for Nigerians.
“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 Immigration. Once you give us your NIN number, we will collect the biometric from the NIMC and produce your passport. That is the intention in all other agencies.”
According to him, resident foreigners are not exempted, as they will also require the identification when renewing their residence permits.He continued: “I have also given a directive that any foreigner resident in Nigeria will not get his/her permit renewed until he has an NIN. To achieve this, NIMC NIN and passport numbers will be harmonised and we are committed to allowing NIMC in Immigration. All of its staff can work in our passport offices.”