• Saturday, February 24, 2024
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More troubles as Nigerian passport faces ‘devaluation’

Apart from the high fares Nigerians have to pay to travel to other countries, Nigerians holding green passports are faced with another problem of experiencing visa-on-arrival denials from several countries as a result of the ‘devaluation’ of the passports globally.

In a recently released third quarter Henley Passport Index, which is an authoritative ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa, Nigeria takes the bottom spot as a country with one of the 20 worst passports to hold in 2023 with visa-free access to only 46 countries.

Naziru Mikail Abubakar who recently travelled from Abuja to the Swedish city of Gothenburg to attend the 2023 Global Investigative Journalism Conference (GIJC), narrated his experience.

He arrived in Istanbul at 6.30 a.m. local time, he said he rushed to the Turkish Airlines ticketing desk to change his ticket to the next available flight to Gothenburg, and then the drama began.

Abubakar said he was surprised to discover his passport no longer allows him to obtain a Turkish e-visa, a seamless process he often experienced before.

Read also 10 most powerful passports in Africa

He said the passport has also forfeited numerous privileges that holders once enjoyed in various countries.

Just like Turkey, several countries have stop granting holders of Nigerian passport visa on arrival or e visas, making travel options for tourists and travellers from Nigeria limited.

Last year, Ethiopia stopped issuing visa-on-arrival for Nigerian citizens.

In a circular by Ethiopian Airlines to passengers on Tuesday, it stated that effective immediately, there will be no more visa on arrival for Nigerian citizens.

Read also: Immigration cleared 60,000 passports backlog in 4 days, says FG

The airline stated that passengers are to obtain their visa at Ethiopian embassy in Abuja before travelling.

“Passengers transiting overnight in Addis Ababa are not affected by the ban. Passengers having layover in Addis to travel the next morning to Zanzibar, Seychelles, Lusaka, Lilongwe, Harare, Cape Town etc are not affected by the ban and do not need transit visa for their trips,” the airline stated.

Applications for visas to South Africa have since reduced as Nigerians continue to experience delays and denials to South Africa

After Nigeria, other countries with worse passports include South Sudan with 46 visa free access to countries, Congo 45 countries, Eritrea 44 countries, Iran 44 countries, Sudan 44 countries, Lebanon 43 countries, Kosovo 42 countries, Libya 41 countries, Sri Lanka 41 countries, Bangladesh 40 countries, North Korea 39 countries, Nepal 38 countries, Palestinian Terr 38 countries, Somalia 35 countries, Yemen 35 countries, Pakistan 33 countries, Syria 30 countries, Iraq 29 countries, and Afghanistan countries.

Singapore now has the world’s most powerful passport. The Lion City beat Japan, whose passport had been the most powerful for over five years.

Henley Passport Index revealed a major shake-up, with Germany, Italy and Spain coming in second and Japan sharing the third rank with six other countries.

The most powerful passports in the world, according to Henley Passport Index are as follows:

Singapore — visa-free access to 192 countries
Germany, Italy and Spain — visa-free access to 190 countries
Austria, Finland, France, Japan, Luxembourg, South Korea and Sweden — visa-free access to 189 countries.
Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands and the United Kingdom — visa-free access to 188 countries
Belgium, Czech Republic, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal and Switzerland — visa-free access to 187 countries.

Australia, Hungary and Poland — visa-free access to 186 countries.
Canada and Greece — visa-free access to 185 countries.
Lithuania and the United States — visa-free access to 184 countries
Latvia, Slovakia and Slovenia — visa-free access to 183 countries
Estonia and Iceland — visa-free access to 182 countries.