Getting a Bachelorhood Certificate in Nigeria requires the applicant to follow some steps and procedures. For female applicants, the certificate is also called a Spinsterhood Certificate. This certificate is typically required for those planning to marry, where proof of marital status is needed before the marriage can occur.

The bachelorhood certificate can be obtained at either the Local Government (LGA), where the applicant has an address or at the Federal Ministry of Interior, Abuja. Under Nigerian law, Local Government Authorities and the Federal Government are jointly empowered to register marriages. Therefore, both tiers of government can validly issue a bachelorhood or spinsterhood certificate to single applicants in Nigeria.

Let us briefly examine the requirements and documents to process the bachelorhood certificate at the LGA and the Federal Ministry of Interior.

Procedure for Bachelorhood Certificate from Local Government

Below is the outline of the process and steps to obtain a bachelorhood certificate in Nigeria through a Local Government Authority (LGA) in Nigeria

  1. Gathering of Requirements: The first step is gathering all the requirements and details required to obtain the certificate. The first stage will involve deposing an affidavit of single status stating that you have never been married. If you are unsure of the requirements to gather or don’t know how to prepare such an affidavit, you may contact a lawyer for assistance. The requirements include name, address, occupation, marital status, photograph image, and valid identification.
  1. Sworn Affidavit: Once all the information is gathered, it will be used to prepare an affidavit, which the applicant can depose to at the court registry or before a Notary Public. Although non-lawyers can also prepare an affidavit, it is always better to have one prepared by a lawyer who understands the legal requirements for such an affidavit better.
  1. Administrative Processes: The affidavit and other necessary documents must be submitted to the local government authority. The LGA office may conduct its verification process to ensure that all provided information is accurate and that you are legally eligible to declare bachelorhood. There is an official fee associated with the certificate processing. Where the applicant chooses to do it through an attorney, the attorney will be paid, too.
  1. Issuance of the Certificate: Once all verifications are complete and the application is approved, the Local Government Authority will issue the Bachelorhood Certificate to the applicant. The time it takes to issue the certificate can vary, so asking for an estimated time when you apply is essential.


Procedure for Bachelorhood Certificate from the Ministry of Interior
A bachelor seeking to process a bachelorhood certificate from the Federal Ministry of Interior, Abuja, must provide the following requirements:

  1. Application Letter
  2. Birth Certificate or Attestation of Birth from the NPC;
  3. Certificate of Local Government Origin with Passport Pictures;
  4. Clear Scanned Copy of Data Page of International Passport;
  5. Government-issued Identity Card of intended Foreign Spouse with embedded photograph;
  6. Government-issued document showing application to marry by a recognized Institution in a Foreign Country;
  7. Copy of Law of Foreign Country that states that Attestation of Non-Marital Status from Country of Origin is required;
  8. Notarized Letter from Local Government of Origin affirming Applicant is known to Local Government and has not been according to their Records;
  9. Affidavit of Non-Marital Status deposed to by Applicant before an Authorized Official in the Foreign Country or by a Senior Foreign Affairs Officer serving at the nearest Nigerian Embassy or High Commission;
  • Notarized Letters from Parent or other Senior Family Member confirming that Applicant has not been married;
  • Passport Pictures of Applicant and Spouse;
  • Full Pictures of both Applicant and his Spouse;
  • Address of Applicant that corresponds with Address on the Identification Card Issued by Foreign Government; and Utility Bill.
  • Email Address and Phone Number of the Applicant in Foreign Country of Residence.

When all the above information is gathered, the applicant will submit it to the Federal Ministry of Interior in Abuja. Apart from fees payable for getting the affidavit and other requirements listed above, an official fee for the bachelorhood/sisterhood certificate payable to the Federal Ministry of Interior as of 2024 is N200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira). If the applicant is represented by an attorney for the processing, an attorney fee will also apply.

Finally, the bachelorhood certificate is a certificate that confirms the marital status of a single person, and it is recognized locally and internationally for marital purposes. It may be issued either by Local Government Authorities or the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Interior. However, the procedure for obtaining the certificate at the LGA is faster than that of the Ministry of Interior. If the certificate is to be used abroad, it must be authenticated at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) before it is taken abroad. Some countries may also require the document to be legalized at their embassies. The applicant can also decide to notarize the document depending on the requirement of the country where it is to be used.

By Resolution Law Firm


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