For whatever reason, an individual may choose to change his or her name. This is always the direct consequence of marriage, divorce, adoption, or the extinction of a person’s name, though some people do it for professional purposes. There is no problem with changing a name if the explanation seems reasonable. We’ve covered all you need to know about the requirements, eligibility, and how to change your name in Nigeria in this article.
REASONS FOR A NAME CHANGE
The most common reason for changing one’s name is due to marital problems. Other causes could include religious concerns, business transactions, or personal matters. The following are some of the instances why you might need the document:
- Adoption of a child
- Using a different name in a marriage
- To adopt a biological or adopted child
- You may desire to add an extra name to your personality because of professional problems.
Changes in nationality and religious connotations are among the other factors.
ELIGIBILITY FOR A NAME CHANGE IN NIGERIA
To begin the procedure of switching your name, you must initially satisfy the basic qualifications and requirements. The following are the requirements for legally changing your name in Nigeria:
- Age: In Nigeria, changing one’s name is only possible for people over the age of 18, which is considered adulthood in most nations. The regulations in this country stipulate that a child’s name must be officially changed by a guardian or parent of the child.
- Citizenship: The person applying for a name change must be a Nigerian citizen. Foreigners are not restricted because they can register as citizens and then seek for a name change.
- Reasons for Change: Applicants who seek to change their names must have a compelling cause for doing so. If it is later revealed that the change in name was made with the goal of deceiving or violating the law, the change in name will be ruled illegal, and the defaulter will be punished.
- New name: Do not go there with the intention of using an awful moniker just to get a new name. It’s worth noting that you won’t be able to use some types of names, such as those that are profane or tribalist/racist in character.
In additament to the aforementioned conditions, anyone wishing to change their name would have to be clear in all financial institutions, not be bankrupt, and not have any financial liabilities against them.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR CHANGE OF NAME
Keep these documents on side before applying for a change of name in Nigeria, since they must be included when filing your application:
- A signed court affidavit confirming the name change. It should be no older than one year.
- The newspaper cutting advertisement reflects your announcement of your name change. This should also be less than a year from the date of the advertisement.
- You’ll have to turn in the declaration/advertisement that you typed (in the form above).
- Two passport-sized pictures of your most recent appearance.
- Request a demand draft for the publishing fees, as well as extra copies if needed.
- A letter of attestation from a credible source is also required.
- An official announcement of the adjustment will be made.
- A statutory declaration (Affidavit) is a document that shows your new name on official records. You can complete the process by waiting for the new name to be published in the Nigerian Gazette.
- You must extract a copy of the Official Gazette including your name and attach it to the new document application paperwork.
- The chief registrar should be addressed to in your application letter.
- You will also be asked to provide personal information such as your date and place of birth, marital status, and current address.
PROCEDURES FOR CHANGE OF NAME IN NIGERIA (2022)
The processes for changing your name should be followed to ensure a smooth transition.
STEP 1: SWEAR AN AFFIDAVIT
The first step is to swear an Affidavit of Change of Name, often called as Deed Pool. This can be done by walking to a nearby High Court and going to the Registry department to complete the task.
Your affidavit should be prepared in your own words and state that you have changed your name. The affidavit should include the grounds for your name change, as it will be used to document your old name in the future.
STEP 2: ADVERTISE THE NEW NAME
The subsequent procedure is to inform the public that you will no more be using your previous name and will be switching to a new one. This can be accomplished by publishing your new name in a well-known daily publication such as The Nation, Guardian, or Punch. You should double-check that your important documents match your new name.
STEP 3: GET YOUR NAME LISTED IN THE GAZETTE
You should submit an application to the Civil Registry’s paperwork Department of Publication, requesting that your new name be printed in Nigeria’s official gazette. A fee of N5000 or more is usually charged for this. Print a copy of the page indicating your altered name once it appears in the gazette.
STEP 4: SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR NEW DOCUMENTS WITH YOUR NAME ON THEM
When your new name has been published in the Official Nigerian Gazette, you will need to apply for new official documents that reflect your new name. A copy of the Official Gazette showing the name should be attached to your application.
WHERE CAN I GET CHANGE OF NAME APPLICATION FORMS AND HOW LONG DO THEY TAKE?
It can take anywhere from 5 to 21 working days to apply for and have your name changed in most situations. To expedite the procedure, go to the National Civil Registration Office, which is located at Sokode Crescent and Michael Okpara Street in Zone 5, Wuse, Abuja, and file the application among other registrations.
HOW MUCH DOES CHANGE OF NAME COST?
In Nigeria, the expense of newspaper publication for a change of name involves a non-refundable fee of ₦5,000, which is really the sum charged for the application’s execution. The Guardian, Punch, Tribune, and Sun publications are all subject to this charge.
I assume you’re now familiar with how to change your name in Nigeria. The processes and procedures we’ve laid down here are straightforward to follow and carry out.