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Nigerian Passport Climbs Nine Places Higher In Global Ranking 





The Nigerian passport has climbed nine places higher in the latest global passport ranking index.

Naija News learned that the recently released Henley Passport Index for Q2 2023 revealed that the Nigerian passport had moved to the 91st position, nine places higher than its previous position of 100 out of 199 countries and 227 travel destinations studied.

The latest passport index indicate that the Nigerian passport has gained more global access despite the number of countries accessible without visas or with visa-on-arrival remaining at 46.

It was gathered that as of June 2022, travelers with Nigerian passports could only traverse 25 countries visa-free. Still, the number increases to 45 destinations when visa-on-arrival or e-visa programmes are included.

The improved ranking, as learned, might not necessarily be due to the advancement of performance in the Nigerian passport strength but probably because other nations lost out in their earlier rankings.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian passport ranked as the least powerful amongst the 15 countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The Gambian passport was in the lead at the 72nd position in the latest ranking.

The index also revealed Sierra Leone was at 74th, Cabo Verde at 75th, Ghana at 76th, Benin at 78th, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast at 79th, Guinea at 80th, Senegal and Togo at 81st, Niger at 82nd, Mali and Guinea Bissau at 83rd, Liberia at 87th and Nigeria at 91st.

Reacting to the issue, the CEO of Henley & Partners, Dr. Juerg Steffen, noted that a fall or improvement in ranking results comes from several factors, including reciprocity, economic and sociopolitical stability, and tourism.

Also reacting to the index, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Anthony Akuneme, said more beneficial bilateral agreements with more countries could open doors for Nigerians.

Echoing the observations by Steffen, he told The Punch that “It is a function of reciprocity. If one country agrees that my citizens can come without needing a visa, I, too, will extend the same gesture to them.”

A former Nigerian Ambassador to Singapore, Ogbole Amedu-Odeb, told The Punch “The offshoot of drug-related crime perpetrated by Nigerians abroad and a low-performing economy has brought us here.

“So, what can we do is strengthen our moral fibre by rigorously implementing regulations that shore up our standing globally.

“We must also ensure that the economy bounces back and becomes robust so well that our people are not voting with their feet. When fewer citizens indulge in criminal activities across international boundaries, and with these other steps I have mentioned, I think we will bounce back. Anything short of this will be a waste of our time.”