Henceforth No National Identity Number, No e-Passport Issuance – Immigration Boss Babandede Reveals.
Owing to apathy with regards to data collation in the country,Federal Government has made it mandatory for Nigerians seeking to be issued e-passport from the immigration office to first produce their National Identity Numbers.
The policy which is scheduled to take effect as from January 1st 2018, is coming under a renewed move by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to harmonize of all data relating to Nigerians,including bio-metric information.
The National Identity Management Commission(NIMC),Nigerian Immigration Service as well as National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) managements are expected to drive the process.
According to the Comptroller General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede at the State House, Abuja, after a tripartite meeting of the database harmonization committee. Foreigners residing in Nigeria would not be exempted from the policy as they would be required to obtain an identification number before they can get residency permits.
In his words, “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, 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 allowing NIMC staff work in Immigration offices” he said.
The immigration boss explained that the database harmonisation policy will further ease the process of doing business in the country, especially in line with the Presidential Ease of Doing Business Council’s (PEBEC) mandate.
“ When this policy takes off,there will be no need for you to go and have your bio metric captured by NIMC and then you come and capture again with the Nigeria
“Once you give us your NIMC number we will collect the bio metric from NIMC and produce your passport. That is the intention to do in all other agencies,”he stated.
“when you come to get the passport you can also get the National identity card. The NIMC has also allowed immigration staff to work in
their offices so anybody who is coming to claim Nigerian citizenship they will help to identify that citizen. That is the cooperation that we have had so far”.
Meanwhile,Senior Special Assistant to the President on Information Communication
and Technology, Lanre Osibona, who also spoke to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting,said government was determined to ensure the delivery of a
concise database for all Nigerians.
According to him in the two years since the Presidential directive,the NIMC has moved the number of those on its database from 5million to about 20million and was targeting to raise it up to 30million by the end of this year.
“We are working with the world bank and Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to have a proper approach of how we will be able to capture over 180million over a three year
period” he said