ATTESTATION OF BIRTH CERTIFICATE IN NIGERIA
The procedure for how to legalize birth certificate in Nigeria usually starts by obtaining the birth certificate from the National Population Commission (NPC).
Nigeria is not a signatory to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (the Apostille Convention). Therefore, most foreign countries demand that for a document issued in Nigeria to be tendered or used for any official purpose abroad, it must be authenticated by the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And in some cases legalized by the embassy of relevant foreign countries in Nigeria.
After obtaining the required birth certificate or age attestation certificate where applicable, the document must be notarized in Nigeria.
The next step is to take the birth certificate or age attestation certificate to the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs for attestation or authentication.
The official procedure for authenticating birth certificate at the MFA in Nigeria includes making two photocopies of the document (along with the original certificate) and submitting all the three copies to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja, which is responsible for authentication or attestation services. The applicant must pay a prescribed fee at this point.
After making the necessary official payments and submitting the documents, the applicant would be advised on when to return to pick them up. Usually, the whole process can take within one week.
Where the applicant also intends to legalize the documents, the next step is to take the authenticated document to the relevant embassy for legalization.
It is noteworthy that it is not all foreign countries that demand legalization of birth certificate, which has already been authenticated at the MFA. However, some countries may require such an additional process. Embassies charge various fees for legalization of documents.
Finally, an applicant seeking to authenticate and legalize documents at MFA and embassy respectively may carry out the process on his own or hire an attorney for such duties. Where a lawyer has been engaged to carry out such a duty, he shall be entitled to charge for it.