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Condition for 10 year Int’l passport pushes up NIN registration traffic

The strategic compulsory use of National Identity Number (NIN) in the process of obtaining a new International Passport or renewal has led to steady rise in registration for NIN access.

NIN is the personal biometric number generated during the process of registering for the issuance of national identity card by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

The scheme was introduced and made compulsory by the agency as part of efforts to capture Nigerians in a national biometric database.

During a recent visit to the Lagos Office of NIMC, Alausa, an official averred that there has been a rising traffic in registration for NIN and it remains free.

According to the official who pleaded anonymity, “Many people that come for NIN usually talk about processing their international passport, but that is not the only reason for getting registered”.

“Getting registered which is now a continuous process will among other things; boost the national biometric database, give a life identity to every Nigerians and help in digital inclusion of everybody for better national planning and development process.

In an interview on Tuesday at Festac Passport office of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), a top official who pleaded anonymity revealed that “As a matter of policy, since this year, no International Passport is processed without NIN”.

Explaining more, the staff said “It will take 72 hours to get expired passport renewed with bio-metric data recording. But sometimes, if the booklets are not available at the closest immigration office to you, you might have to wait as long as 8 weeks”.

“The cost of renewing your passport is based on age. Passports for people under 17 years of age and those above 60 years are cheaper than that for those aged 18 – 59.

“There is no age classification for those applying for the 64-page booklets. However, the 64-page booklet is more expensive than the 32-page booklet. You can apply for renewal whether your validity has expired or not. So you don’t have to wait till it expires to renew your passport.

“If your validity has expired, you will need to present the following documents when applying for a renewal: Application Letter; your Passport Booklet; a Photocopy of the Data Page of Passport; Acknowledgement Slip and Evidence of Payment.

Continuing, the staff noted that “If your validity is yet to expire and has over 6 months on it, you submit the above documents also including a letter explaining the reasons for needing a re-issuance.

The official further advised Nigerians seeking to apply for passport renewal online to visit the Home page of Nigeria Immigration Portal, fill up the passport application form online, make payment and obtain Application ID and Reference.

“Then, submit application letter with other relevant documents in person at the nearest passport office chosen during online application.

Nigerians in the Diaspora are to submit application at the nearest Nigeria Embassy/High Commission or Consulate.