The federal government says starting from 2018, no Nigerian will obtain or renew their international passports without having the national identification number (NIN).
Mohammed Babandede, comptroller general of the Nigeria immigration service (NIS), said this on Tuesday while addressing state house correspondents after a meeting of the database harmonization committee.
He said the development is part of efforts to have a centralized database for Nigerians and to also improve the business environment in the country.
Babandede also said NIS targets to capture 180 million persons in three years, up from the 20 million Nigerians that have so far been captured in the NIN database.
He added that the service would collaborate with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to achieve the set targets.
He said foreigners would not be able to renew their permits except they obtain an identification number.
“We have agreed that from January 1, 2018, anybody who is going to apply for Nigerian passport, whether renewal or fresh, must first have a national identity number,” he said.
“I have also given the directive that any foreigner resident in Nigeria will not get his permit renewed until he has a NIMC number. To achieve this, NIMC and passport numbers will be harmonized and we are committed to allow NIMC in immigration offices.
“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 NIMC number, we will collect the biometric from NIMC and produce your passport. That is the intention to do in all other agencies.”
He said NIMC staff would be working in passport offices so as to give people their national identity card whenever they come to collect their passport.
Babandede said the initiative would also help government to easily check those who have paid their tax
“We should be able to access it, we should be able to know whether you have paid your tax or not,” he said.
“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.”
SOURCE: The cable