The Nigeria Immigration Service has reacted to a global ranking that ranked the Nigerian passport 98th out of 199 countries, ranking below Malawi, Niger, Chad, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and The Gambia.
It stated that, while it welcomes the ranking, it is more concerned with Nigeria’s passport’s compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s global standards.
The passport index, which is released quarterly, is based on unique data from the International Air Transport Association, which maintains the world’s largest database of travel information, according to Henley & Partners, a London-based global citizenship and residence advice organization.
The Q1 2022 index, which was recently released, assessed the passports of 199 countries with 227 travel destinations and ranked them based on global access and mobility.
Each passport is given a score based on how many visa-free places it can visit. This is also true if passport holders are able to get a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permission, or an electronic travel authority at the time of entry.
Japan and Singapore were at the top of the list, with passports that allowed them to travel to 192 countries. The United States and the United Kingdom were placed seventh and eighth, respectively, while Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan were ranked fifth and sixth, respectively.
Despite ranking 28th in the world, the Seychellois passport is the most popular in Africa, with visa-free travel to 152 countries. Botswana and Namibia were rated second and third, respectively, with 86 and 78 countries.
Malawi (76th), Niger (90th), Chad (90th) The Gambia (75th), Uganda (76th), Zimbabwe (78th) and Sierra Leone (80th) all ranked above Nigeria and Ethiopia, which tallied at 98th. Despite Nigeria’s position on the list, it rose five places compared to the Q4 2021.
Reacting to the report, the spokesperson of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Amos Okpo, argued that visa-free mobility is largely a reflection of bilateral agreements between countries and within regional blocs.
Amos Okpo, a spokesman for the Nigeria Immigration Service, responded to the news by claiming that visa-free travel is usually a result of bilateral agreements between countries and within regional blocs.
According to the ICAO, “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.”
There were only 13 member states when Nigeria joined the ICAO’s PKD: New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada, the United States of America, Germany, the Republic of Korea, France, China, Kazakhstan, and India.
Mongolia will join the directory in December 2021, bringing the total number of participating nations to 82.