How to Do Change of Name in Nigeria: Procedures and Eligibility

Nuelson Penuel Saturday, August 12, 2023 Basis

In this blog post, you are going to learn everything you need to know about the procedures for change of name in Nigeria. It entails reasons for change name as well as eligibility.

What is Change of Name?

Change of name refers to the process of legally modifying one's given name, surname, or both. This may be done for various personal, cultural, or professional reasons. The change of name could involve altering the spelling, adding or removing a name or part of a name, or adopting an entirely new name. It is typically a formal and legal process that requires the individual to follow specific procedures and requirements set by their respective country or state. The purpose of a change of name is to update legal records and identification documents to reflect the new name. It is important to note that changing one's name does not absolve any legal responsibilities or obligations, and individuals must still adhere to the laws and regulations governing their previous and new names.

Eligibility for Change of Name in Nigeria

In Nigeria, the eligibility requirements for a change of name may vary depending on the guidelines set by the relevant authorities and institutions involved in the name change process. However, the general eligibility criteria for a change of name in Nigeria are as follows: 1. Age: The individual must be at least 18 years old to legally change their name. If the person is a minor (under 18 years), the consent of their parent or guardian may be required. 2. Sound mind: The person seeking a name change should be of sound mind, meaning they have the mental capacity to understand the implications and consequences of the name change. 3. Valid reason: The applicant must have a valid reason for the name change, such as marriage, divorce, adoption, or personal preference. The reason for the name change should be stated clearly in the affidavit or Deed Poll document. 4. Non-fraudulent purpose: The change of name should not be for fraudulent or illegal purposes, such as evading law enforcement, avoiding debts, or deceiving others. 5. No criminal record or pending legal issues: Depending on the institution or authority processing the name change, the applicant may need to prove that they do not have a criminal record or any pending legal issues.

Reasons for Change of Name

There are various reasons why individuals may choose to undergo a change of name. Some common reasons include: 1. Marriage: One of the most common reasons for a change of name is marriage. Many individuals choose to adopt a new surname after getting married, either by taking their spouse's surname or combining their surnames in some way. 2. Divorce: In cases of divorce or the dissolution of a marriage, individuals may choose to revert to their maiden name or adopt a different name altogether to distance themselves from their past marriage. 3. Personal preference: Some people may want to change their name simply because they prefer a different name or find their current name unappealing. They may wish to align their name with their gender identity or personal beliefs. 4. Cultural or religious reasons: Individuals may choose to change their name to better reflect their cultural or religious background or to align with their identity and heritage. 5. Pronunciation or spelling: A person may opt to change their name if they find it difficult to pronounce or if they frequently encounter incorrect spelling or pronunciation from others. 6. Professional reasons: Some professionals, such as actors or writers, may change their name to create a more unique or marketable persona. Additionally, individuals with a tarnished reputation or criminal history may change their name to start fresh or avoid association with their past. 7. Safety and security: In situations involving domestic abuse, stalking, or other safety concerns, individuals may(1976) Cross River State change their name to protect their identity and increase their personal security.

Requirements for Change of Name in Nigeria

The process and requirements for a change of name in Nigeria may differ slightly depending on the state where the individual resides. However, the general steps and requirements are as follows: 1. Affidavit: Obtain an affidavit for change of name from a Nigerian court or magistrate. The affidavit should state the individual's current name, the desired new name, and the reason for the name change. 2. Newspaper publication: Publish a notice of the name change in at least one national daily newspaper in Nigeria. The publication should include the old name, the new name, and a statement explaining the reason for the change. 3. Deed Poll: Prepare a Deed Poll document, which is a legal instrument officially declaring the change of name. This document should be signed and notarized by a notary public or a lawyer in Nigeria. 4. Application to the National Newspaper: Submit copies of the newspaper publication and the Deed Poll document to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) office located in the state where the name change is sought. The application should include a letter requesting the change of name, along with the necessary supporting documents. 5. Newspaper gazette publication: Once the application is approved by the CAC, the individual should publish the name change in a national gazette. This is done to provide official recognition and documentation of the name change. 6. Notification: After the name change is gazetted, it is important to notify all relevant institutions and individuals of the name change. This includes updating personal records, such as bank accounts, identification documents, educational institutions, and employer records.


It is advisable to seek legal advice and consult with relevant authorities in Nigeria to ensure compliance with the specific requirements and procedures for name change in the respective state of residence.

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