How to Get a Birth Certificate in Nigeria

Getting your Nigeria birth certificate from National population commission (NPC) isn’t a hunt for the queen of the ocean as some think. With the right information like the one you have here, you should go ahead and for whatever reason you need it, get that Birth Certificate.

Many Nigerians were given birth in the rural area where there is no medical record and some Nigerians do have the birth certificate but unfortunately it was misplaced or lost, Some Nigerians do have the birth certificate but have changed their names which make their former birth certificate invalid and a new birth certificate is required.

There are some foreigner who were given birth to in Nigeria and do not have their birth certificate. NATIONAL POPULATION COMMISSION (NPC) is the only federal ministry in Nigeria authorized to issue birth certificates to applicants in need of it. All embassies both in Nigeria and abroad recognize and accept the (NPC).

The National Population Commission (NPC) of Nigeria was established by the federal government in 1988. It has the statutory powers to collect, analyze and disseminate population/demographic data in the country. It is also mandated to undertake demographic sample surveys, compile, collate and publish migration and civil registration statistics as well as monitor the country’s Population Policy.

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The Commission was reconstituted in 2011 with a Chairman and 37 members representing each state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. According to the Deputy Director of the NPC’s Vital Registration Department, only individuals under the age of 18 can obtain a birth certificate. Adults over the age of 18 can only obtain an attestation letter – A “legal document issued to back up the Age Declaration Affidavit of an individual who is over eighteen years of age”. Attestation letters currently cost 2,000 Naira (NGN) though this fee is “subject to review at any time”.

The Deputy Director of the NPC’s Vital Registration Department stated that people must register the birth of their child within 60 days of birth, after which there will be a penalty. However, the penalty is being waived and has never been implemented because the NPC wants to expand the coverage of birth registration. Currently, the NPC is in partnership with UNICEF to register and give free birth certificates to people under 18 years of age.

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According to the NPC Deputy Director, in order to obtain an attestation letter, an adult must first go to the High Court of Justice to make a declaration of age, which is also referred to as a “sworn age declaration affidavit”. At the High Court of Justice, the applicant is asked to complete a form, which includes the individual’s date of birth, place of birth, family, etc., as well as a statement saying that, at the time of his or her birth, the NPC did not exist. It usually takes one to two days to obtain a stamped declaration of age from the High Court of Justice. After obtaining the declaration of age, the applicant can go to one of the 774 local government areas to find out to which NPC state office they should go to obtain an attestation letter. The fee required to obtain a declaration of age varies from state to state.

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