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Nigerian passports ranking drops by 38 places globally

Nigerian passports ranking drops by 38 places globally

In a ranking of all passports over the past 17 years, the Nigerian passport has dropped 38 positions.

The Henley Passport Index reports from 2006 through 2022 support this.

The Henley Passport Index assigns a score to each passport based on how many countries its owners can enter without a visa or through a program that grants them one upon arrival.

Nigerian passport holders now have access to 11 more countries, although their ranking dropped from 62 to 100 between 2006 and 2022.

This demonstrates a consistent weakening across the 199 countries and 227 tourism destinations examined.

Despite the fact that 46 countries now accept green passport holders without a visa or with a visa on arrival, up from 35 in 2006, Nigerians are still unable to travel to more than 181 other countries.

Travelers with Nigerian passports will only be able to enter 25 nations without a visa as of September 2022.

However, that number rises to at least 46 destinations when visa-on-arrival or e-visa programmes are added to the mix.

Countries offering visa-free, visa-on-arrival and e-visa access to Nigerians as of the time of this report include: Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Cabo Verde, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique , Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Others include: Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Timor-Leste, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Haiti, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Fiji, Micronesia, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

According to the Henley Passport Index which is based on data from the International Air Transport Association, a fall or improvement in ranking is the result of several factors.

They include the country’s efforts to strengthen its diplomatic relations with other nations and its efforts to modernise its visa processes and improve security measures at its borders.

Read Also: Nigerians Abroad Can Return Home With Expired Passports – NIS

However, experts reasoned that the strength of the green document is only reflecting the internal challenges bedeviling Nigeria.

In an earlier interview with our correspondent, Research Director, Centre for China Studies, Abuja, Charles Onunaiju, argued that the measly visa-free access Nigerians enjoy globally reflects the internal woes the country is experiencing under the present government.

He said, “We have a challenge. Since Nigeria is becoming inhospitable, especially for young people with no opportunities, there is desperation to go abroad.

“Almost all embassies are now enforcing regulations on Nigerians they don’t impose on other nationals. That is very clear. People feel that almost every Nigerian wants to leave here. That’s partly true because the nation has mishandled the potential in it. Our leaders have not harnessed the vast human resources available to us.

“If we want to earn respect from outside, we must begin from home. If we want the world to take us seriously, we must get your acts together.”

But Nigeria’s passport issuing agency, the Nigeria Immigration Service, reasoned otherwise.

It said visa-free mobility is largely a reflection of bilateral agreements between countries and within regional blocs.

The spokesperson of the NIS, Amos Okpu, who earlier discussed with our correspondent on the issue said, “This ranking is based on passport admissibility. And that is largely a function of mutual understanding, reciprocity among countries which does not necessarily reflect the true strength of a passport. A good example is the European Union and the ECOWAS.

“While we appreciate the work done by Henley & Partners, we are more concerned with deepening our passport technology to meet up with the standards of the ICAO; ensuring that our passport complies with ICAO guidelines.”

Okpu said that Nigeria holds a respectable standing in the comity of countries because it has been a public Key Directory of the ICAO since April 2009.

A central location for transferring the data needed to authenticate electronic Machine-Readable Travel Documents including e-Passports, electronic ID cards, and Visible Digital Seals is the Public Key Directory.

Nigerian passports ranking drops by 38 places globally

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