- To Adopt Centralized Database same date
By Nse Anthony-Uko
ABUJA, (Sundiata Post) — No Nigerian will be able to to obtain or renew the international passport from January 1st, 2018 without the National Identification Number (NIN), Federal Government has warned.
It has also set the same date as targets to collapse all the various databases into one single database, this is even as it targets to capture about 180 million in three years, up from just 20 million Nigerians have so far captured in the NIN database.
The directive is part of efforts to have a centralised database for Nigerians that will also contain bio metric data.
A centralised database will help in forecasting and planning the budget, financial inclusion, innovation, security amongst others.
The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigraition Service, Mohammed Babadede, disclosed this when he spoke to State House Correspondents at the State House, Abuja, after a meeting of the database harmonization committee.
The Immigration boss who briefed alongside the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Information Communication and Technology, Lanre Osibona, said the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and the immigration service will collaborate in the efforts.
He also disclosed that Foreigners residing in the country will also not be able to renew their permits except they obtain an identification number.
Babadede, “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 allow NIMC in Immigrations office” he said.
The Immigration boss explained that this is part of efforts to ease the business environment in the country in line with the Presidential Ease of Doing Business Council’s (PEBEC) mandate.
“There 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
“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.”
Presidential Muhammadu Buahri had on assumption of office two years ago gave a directive for the harmonisation of Nigeria’s biometric data. Lack of funds have been blamed for the delay in the harmonisation efforts. Nigeria has multiple identity management system with the Banks issuing out Bank Verification Number (BVN), Sim card registration carried out by the Nigerian Communications Commission, Voters registration by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), School registration done at various Local Government Areas (LGAs), birth registration by National Population Commission (NPC), International Passport by Nigeria Immigration
Service and drivers license jointly issued by the Vehicles Inspection Officers (VIO) and Federal Road Safety Corps.
Babadede also explained that to achieve its target, NIMC and passport numbers will be harmonized. In the same vein NIMC staff will be allowed to work in passport offices so that “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”.
He explained that the earlier decision for citizens to present tax certificates before obtaining or renewing their passports, was to have an e-government that will make it possible for any of the involved agency to have complete data.
“What government is saying is that when you want to collect any facilita 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” he said.
Osibona, on his part said the government is determined to ensure the delivery of a concise database for all Nigerians.
He explained that in the two years since the Presidential directive, the NIMC has moved the number of those on its database from five million to about 20 million and is targeting to raise it up to 30 million 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 180 million over a three year period” he said
He said the meeting also considered efforts of digital economy, issues relating to Public Key Infrastructure which will be domiciled within the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)“An intention of this is to allow for digital signing of key documents being able to authenticate our document digitally.
“Again this helps meet the effort of the PEBEC on the ease of doing business. So we will be able to have CAC be able to issue certificates digitally, NHIS, Tax Clearance, etc. so the resolution as part of the meeting here is that this will be driven by NITDA” he said.