In accordance to the Marriage Act, CAP M6, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (2004), the Ministry of Interior is charged with carrying out Statutory Marriages in Nigeria. There are two types of Marriages which are recognized under the Law, and they are:
Ordinary Marriage: This is a marriage between a Nigerian and a Nigerian.
Special Marriage: While this is a marriage between a Nigerian and Non-Nigerian or between a Non-Nigerian and a Non-Nigerian in Nigeria.
There are a series of services as related to Marriages that are carried out by the Ministry of Interior. These services have also been made automated, in such a way that they can all be performed through the eCITIBIZ portal. These services are:
- Marriage Applications: For one’s marriage to be Legally Binding, or to be recognized under the Law, it has to be certified by the Ministry of Interior. The application for marriage can be done through the eCITIBIZ portal, and a Certified Marriage Certificate is issued, after all procedures and payments are duly met.
- Change of Marriage Venue: This is a service performed for couples who wish to perform their marriages outside the Federal Marriage Registry. They would apply for this service and pay the required amount, so that their Marriage can be conducted at their desired location outside the Registry.
- Certified True Copy of Document: This is a service offered to provide a Certified True Copy of the Original Marriage Certificate to couples who no longer have a copy of their Original Marriage Certificate, either due to loss or theft or under the request of Third Party Agencies, e.g. Embassies. The various documentations needed for this process can also be found under “Requirement”. A fee is charged for this service.
- Attestation of Marital Status: This is a service that is carried out to declare and verify one’s status as either Single, Married, Widowed, Divorced, etc., for instance, to declare ones Spinsterhood or Bachelorhood.
- Verification of Documents: This is a service provided to Third Party Agencies seeking to verify the authenticity of documents submitted to them by individuals, be it Spinsters, Bachelors, or Already Married individuals. For instance, a Bachelor from Nigeria living in the United States, would like to marry in the United States, and is asked to submit his Bachelorhood Certificate to verify that he is a Bachelor (has not been previously married in Nigeria).
The Embassy who is the third party, would then apply for a Verification of Document to verify the Certificate submitted by the Bachelor. The details on the documentations required for this service can be found under “Requirement”. It should be noted that a fee would be charged for this service.