The Nigerian government has said the cost of its new federal marriage certificate is N21,000 while licensing of place of worship is N30,000.
The director, Citizenship and Business, Federal Ministry of Interior, Steve Okon, disclosed this to PREMIUM TIMES in Abuja on Monday.
Mr Okon explained that places of worship will be licensed individually, not as a group.
“If the Catholic Church in Wuse is licenced and the Catholic Church in Kubwa is not, if you conduct your wedding in Kubwa, then your certificate is invalid,” he said.
The Nigerian government last week began issuing new federal marriage certificate.
Existing couples who do not have their certificate issued by the Ministry of Interior are advised to visit the ministry’s website to re-certify their marriage certificates.
It reported that 4,689 places of worship are registered and 314 have renewed their licences.
Mr Okon said after licensing a place of worship, 25 copies of the marriage certificate are given to it at the cost of N2,500.
“The certificate cannot be given out without the couple paying the N21,000 to the ministry,” he said.
Mr Okon said there is need to have a fixed price of marriage certificate in order to help stop extortion of citizens.
He said the license will be renewed every two years at N30,000.
Although as at the time this report was filled in, the ministry could not provide the total amount of money realised since the exercise began.
Requirements for place of worship licencing:
-Certificate of incorporation of place of worship.
- Place of worship constitution
- Minister’s ordination certificate
- I.D card.
- Pastor’s passport photographs
- Six photographs of the exterior and interior of the church building.
- Evidence of landed property.
Criteria for place of worship to qualify for approval to conduct marriage.
- The church must have been registered under the land perpetual succession act cap 98 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- The church must have been built of concrete walls
- The church must have an ordained priest as the head
- The church must have provisions for safe keeping of valuable documents
- The church must have adequate ventilation to prevent stuffiness
- The church surrounding must be clean
- The church must have giant fire extinguishers installed in case of fire. The number depends on the size of the congregation
- The church must have stand-by generator .
- The church must have public address system
- The church must have closets
- The church must be on a permanent site not a temporary site.
- The church building must be fully completed with all the facilities itemized above in place before the formal inspection by the office.
- Photographs of the interior and exterior views of the church which must include the view of the building and church signpost.
The documents will can be obtained from the official website www.ECITIBIZ.INTERIOR. GOV.NG