From Jan 1, 2018 any Nigerian seeking to have his passport will only be allowed to process such if they possess a national ID number.

According to the Nigerian Immigration service the national ID number issued by the National Identity Management Commission will now become a pre-requiste for obtaining the Nigerian Passport.

This condition will be applicable to everyone applying for a passport whether they are applying for a first time or seeking renewal for an expired passport.

The Comptroller-General of the NIS, Mr. Mohammed Babandede, disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting of database harmonisation committee at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.

According to him the decision was taken as a way of enhancing efforts to ease the process of doing business in the country.

According to Mohammed Babandede, “The biggest problem we are facing is that everybody is deploying his own technology; but harmonisation of data will solve that. We have agreed that from January 1, 2018, anybody who is going to apply for the Nigerian passport, whether renewal or fresh application, must first have a National Identity Number.

“Why we are doing this is that we want to ease process of doing business in Nigeria. There is no need for you to go and have your biometrics captured by the NIMC and then you come and capture again with the Nigeria Immigration Service.

“Once you give us your NIN, we will collect the biometrics from the NIMC and produce your passport.”