Changing one’s name in Nigeria is not all so difficult as it sounds, particularly when one is properly equipped with information. It is worthy of note that there are many or several reasons why anyone would want to have their name changed as far as Nigeria is concerned.
For starters, marriage, divorce, extinction or for religious or reasons are some of the many reasons why individuals would want to have a change of name. There is no contrary opposition whatsoever, so long the purpose of changing one’s name is not illegal and unintentional.
In this post, we have detailed the steps involved in changing one’s name in Nigeria. We also listed the eligibility criterion before a change of name can be done in Nigeria.
Eligibility For Change of Name in Nigeria
To start the process of changing your name, you must first meet the requirements and qualify to proceed to do it. Below are the requirements to legally change your name in Nigeria:
Age: Change of name in Nigeria is strictly for individuals above the age of 18 years which is the maturity age in most countries. The laws here requires that for a child to legally change his/her name, it must be done by a guardian or parent of the child.
Citizenship: The applicant seeking for an alteration in name must be a citizen of Nigeria. This does not restrict foreigners as they can register to be a citizen and subsequently apply for the change in name.
Reasons for Change: Applicants wishing to change his/her name should have a viable reasons for the action. If thereafter its discovered that it was for the intention of misleading or committing a crime, the change in name will be deemed illegal and defaulter prosecuted.
New name: Do not consider going there to use a crummy thing for the sake of having a new name. Note that there are certain classes of names that you would not be allowed to use, which includes names that are obscene or tribalist/racist in nature.
In addition to the above requirements, Anybody who wishes to revert his name must be cleared in all financial institutions and not be bankrupt or having financial liability against him.
Documents Required for Change of Name in Nigeria
Below are the required documents you must have before applying for a change of name in Nigeria:
- A signed court affidavit showing the change of name. It should not be more than one year old.
- The newspaper cutting advertisement reflecting your publicizing of change of name. This also should be less than one year from the date of advert.
- You’ll be required to submit the declaration/advertisement you typed (in the form above).
- Two passport-sized photographs displaying your recent image.
- Demand draft for the fees for publishing, and extra copies if required.
- A letter of attestation from a recognized person will also be needed.
- A public announcement of the change.
- A statutory declaration (Affidavit)
- New government documents reflecting your new name. You can get it done by waiting for the new name to be published in the Official Nigerian gazette.
- You will have to extract a copy of the official gazette containing your name and attach it to the application documents for the new documents.
- Application Letter which should be addressed to the chief registrar.
You will also be required to give your personal information which is the place of birth and date, marital status and details of your current residence.
Procedures for Change of Name in Nigeria
To ensure a hitch-free process, below are the procedures involved for a change of name in Nigeria.
As part of the documents we listed earlier, it is essential you swear to an Affidavit of Change of Name which is known as Deed Pool. This can be done by walking to a High Court in your vicinity and go to the Registry department to get the job done.
Your affidavit should be uniquely written and should state the change of your old name to the new one. The affidavit should include the reasons you chose to do a change of name as it will be thereafter needed in documenting your old name.
The next step is to advertise to the public that you will no longer bear your old name and resorted to change for a new. This can be done by annunciating your new name in a recognized daily newspaper like The Nation, Guardian or Punch newspapers. You should ensure that the new name reflects in your vital documents.
You should apply to the documentation Department of Publication, Civil registry, requesting them to print your new name in Nigeria’s official gazette. This normally attracts a fee of N5000 (Five Thousand Naira) or maybe higher. When the name is reflected on the gazette, print a copy of the page showing your changed name.
Your application for this should follow with these essential documents so as to help process it:
- Affidavit of a name change
- An excerpt of the newspaper cutting advert displaying your name
- The declaration on advertising the name
- Two (2) passport size photographs
- Attestation letter
Adding with other documents we listed above at the beginning of the write-up.
Once your new name makes it in the Official Nigerian gazette, you will have remaining to apply for new government documents that exhibit the name you’ve changed to. Your application should follow with a copy of the Official gazette that shows the name.
Reasons for Change of Name in Nigeria
Below are the reasons for the change of name in Nigeria:
- Adoption of a child
- Using another name in marriage
- To adopt your biological or step-parents’ surname
- Professional issues that you may want adding extra names to your personality.
- Others are reasons of change of nationality and religious connotations.
Where To Get Application Forms and Duration
On normal cases, It can take a period of 5 to 21 working days to apply and get your name changed but to ensure a fast process, head directly to the National Civil Registration located at Sokode Crescent by Michael Okpara Street, Zone 5, Wuse, Abuja and do the application with other registrations.
Cost of Newspaper Publication for Change of Name in Nigeria
The cost of newspaper publication for changing of name in Nigeria requires a non-refundable fee of N5,000 which is the amount charged for the processing of the application. This fee applies to The Guardian, Punch, Tribune and Sun newspapers.