First things first, you should know that every Nigerian has the right to legally change their name. The process to legally change your name in Nigeria is a straightforward 2-step process.
Step 1 – Swear an affidavit in court stating your intention to change your name. An affidavit is a technical term for a sworn statement in writing made especially under oath or on affirmation before an authorized magistrate or officer of the court.
Step 2 – Publish notice of change of name in a national Newspaper, this is to give the general public notice that you have officially changed your name. However, that is not where it ends; the next thing is to be sure that you inform the relevant individuals about your change of name.
Due to modern day issues like financial fraud, terrorism threats etc. before you can prove your identity with the Government (e.g. getting an international passport or a drivers license) and your banks etc, you will be required to show a legal court documents to prove your identity. In such situation your marriage certificate would do.
Who should be notified of your new name?
Once you are done with the change of name process, be sure to change your name on all of your personal documents, inform your employers so they can update their employee records (and any tax records). If you are still a student then consider informing your school – some people avoid informing their school because of the fear that it complicates matters if you were admitted with one name, and then graduated with another name. Please note that there is no legal obligation to inform your school, if you decide not to because it is less complicated, then do not worry. Also, you should inform all your creditors and debtors about your change of name, and then finally all relevant government agencies.
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