Why Nigerians will be charged ₦1000 NIN verification fee for passport application

The National Identity Management Commission says Nigerian citizens resident in the country will be charged a ₦1000 fee for NIN verification for each Nigerian passport application.

Nigeria NIN passport verification
Nigeria passport

Starting April 1, 2023, Nigerians must pay ₦1000 to enable national identification number (NIN) integration and verification during passport application. However, Nigerians living in other African countries or other countries in the world will be charged a fee of $5.00 and $15.00 (or its equivalent in other currencies), respectively.

According to Kayode Adegoke, Head of Corporate Communications at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC),  the arrangement aligns with Nigeria's communications and digital economy ministry's directive to "streamline passport application, renewal and issuance process".

In recent times, many Nigerians have experienced difficulties in their efforts to verify their NIN during the international passport registration process. This, among other issues, leads to delays in the production of passports.

In 2022, the NIMC announced that plans were ongoing to enable Nigerians to verify their NIN on its website in order to fast-track the issuance of international passports to applicants.

The NIN is a unique number which identifies Nigerians for life and is issued by NIMC. It is used to match biometric data and other details in the National Identity Database during verification and authentication. Since 2018, it has been made a compulsory requirement for passport application in the country.

A year ago, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) attributed its inability to meet the six weeks target for the issuance of a fresh passport or three-week re-issuance to challenges posed by NIMC in obtaining the NIN. "NIMC and the NIS have agreed on a revised applicant journey that would significantly improve the speed of passport issuance and re-issuance and reduce the traffic visiting the NIS office(s)," Adegoke said.

Jumoke Oduwole, Special Adviser to the President, Ease of Doing Business says the introduction of the charge should be reviewed to make the services cheaper and assessable to all. "The additional cost for each applicant has not been well received by stakeholders," Ms Oduwole said.

In 2022, National ID databases in Africa experienced an average daily downtime of 6%, according to Smile Identity's KYC report. This frequent downtime hinders their reliability as a sole verification step in onboarding customers on the continent.

More Nigerians have been identified and added to the national database as the figure of National Identification Number (NIN), issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) rose to 95 million, according to the latest data.

Recall that while NIN was deployed in 2012, the Federal Government through NIMC mandated September 1, 2015, as the commencement date on which all transactions involving the identification of individuals must be done with the NIN.

Related Article: How to renew Nigeria's international passport abroad

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