The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), on Wednesday, 2 August 2017, announced that with effect from 1 January 2018, individuals who intend to obtain Nigerian passports or renew expired passports would be required to provide their National Identification Number (NIN), issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

NIN is a token assigned to an individual on a slip upon successful enrolment with the NIMC. It serves as the main identity of an individual in the National Identity Database. Foreigners residing in Nigeria would also be required to provide their NIN in order to renew their residence permits.

This collaboration between NIS and NIMC underscores the Federal Government's efforts to ensure effective harmonization of databases between relevant government agencies across the country. It is also expected to reduce multiplicity of data and time spent during NIS-related application processes.

In addition, through this data integration, the Federal Government is better positioned to widen the tax net and monitor tax compliance of Nigerians and foreigners liable to tax in Nigeria. As this process gains full implementation, it will become increasingly difficult to evade tax in Nigeria.

Pending the implementation of the new requirement, we advise all individuals (Nigerian and foreign nationals) to ensure that they take steps to enroll with NIMC in order to forestall avoidable delays with the regulatory authorities.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.