The Nigerian passport has been ranked among some of the weakest in the world.
Although Nigeria is regarded as Africa’s largest economy, the Nigerian passport suffered the worst decline in rankings on the annual Henley Passport Index.
PREMIUM TIMES analysis of the details of the 2020 Henley Passport Index ranking released on January 7th showed that Nigeria tied with Djibouti for the 95th position, providing access to 46 countries.
In the last report released in the fourth quarter of 2019, the country’s passport maintained the same position alongside Djibouti and Myanmar.
In the last decade, the Nigerian passport has recorded a significant drop on the index.
The Henley Passport Index is the original ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most accurate database of travel information and enhanced by continuous research by the Henley & Partners Research Department.
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The index includes 199 passports and 227 travel destinations— including micro-states and territories. For each travel destination, if no visa is required for passport holders, then a score of 1 is created for that passport. This also applies if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority (ETA) upon entry. These visa types require no pre-departure government approval.
Where a visa is required, or where a passport holder must obtain a government-approved electronic visa (e-Visa) before departure, a score of 0 is assigned. The same applies if they need pre-departure approval for a visa on arrival. Each passport is scored on the total number of destinations that the holder can access visa-free.
Nigeria trails other African Countries
According to the 2020 index, Nigeria ranked below African countries like Angola, Egypt, Cameroon and Liberia, which tied at the 93rd position alongside Burundi and Haiti, providing access to 49 countries of the world.
Some of the African countries with relatively powerful ranking include South Africa, which stood on the 56th spot with access to 100 countries; Botswana and Papua New Guinea on the 62nd position with access to 84 countries; Namibia on the 67th position with access to 76 countries; Lesotho on the 69th position with access to 74 countries. Others with relatively better ranking are Gambia, Zambia, Tanzania, Tunisia, Cape Verde and Uganda.
PREMIUM TIMES observed that Ghana, Nigeria’s closest regional rival, performed relatively better as it tied with Cuba to rank 78 with access to 65 countries. The country recorded the same performance in the ranking released last quarter.
Further details showed that a passport from Japan opens more doors than a passport from anywhere else in the world. Details show that a Japanese passport promises uncomplicated travel to 191 other countries. In 2019, the passport promised access to 189 countries and tied with Singapore’s passport for the world’s most desirable travel document.
Singapore maintained access to 189 countries and placed second in 2020, followed closely by South Korea and Germany with access to 187 countries.
Passports from countries like Canada, the UK, and the US all slipped in the rankings from 2019 to 2020, with relatively good access to over 180 countries.
On the bottom of the ladder, passports from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria offer access to less than 30 countries.
With expert commentary and historical data spanning 14 years, the Henley Passport Index is an invaluable resource for global citizens, investors, and tourists. It is also considered the standard reference tool for governments in this field.