Nigerian Passport Falls By 38 Places In Global Ranking - 9jaflaver



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Nigerian Passport Falls By 38 Places In Global Ranking



The Henley Passport Index ranks passports according to the number of countries their holders can access visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival programme.

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 argued that Nigeria has been a public Key Directory of the ICAO since April 2009 and, therefore, sits in a respectable position in the comity of nations.

The Public Key Directory is a central repository for exchanging the information required to authenticate electronic Machine-Readable Travel Documents such as e-Passports, electronic ID cards and Visible Digital Seals.

Asserting the NIS’ position, Okpu said, “What we put more emphasis on here is our standing in the ICAO. When ICAO alerts us of any lapses with our passports, we get to work. Nigeria has been part of the Public Key Directory since 2009 and it took us complying with several passport security specifications to be reflected on that directory.”


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