Ranking places Nigerian passport 101st out of 199 countries behind Togo, Niger, Chad and others

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• Questionable report, of little importance –Oyebode


Are your bags packed? Well, don’t be in too much of a hurry to catch the next flight without the required visas: the Nigerian passport is ranked 101st out of 199 countries.

The ranking is based on the Henley Passport Index, described as the original and authoritative ranking of all passports in the world, based on the number of destinations that their holders can access without a visa.

Henley and Partners, a global citizenship and residency consultancy firm based in London, UK, explained that the index was based on proprietary data from the International Air Transport Association – the database of largest and most accurate travel information.

Japan is number one on the list, followed by Singapore for second, and South Korea and Germany tied for third. Italy, Finland, Spain and Luxembourg occupy the fourth position, while Denmark and Austria round out the top five.

The company, on July 6, said: “With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed in a few weeks and the country in a ‘near’ state of emergency, Japan nonetheless maintains its number one position on the HPI – which is based on proprietary IATA data – with a theoretical visa-free / visa-on-arrival score of 193.

“While the dominance of European passports in the top 10 has been a given for most of the Index’s 16-year history, the preeminence of three Asian states – Japan, Singapore and South Korea – has become new standard.

“Singapore remains in second place, with a visa-free / visa-on-arrival score of 192, and South Korea continues to share third place with Germany, each with a score of 191.”

Seychelles (28th) leads all African countries on the list, followed by Mauritius (31st), South Africa (57th), Botswana (66th), Namibia (72nd), Lesotho ( 73rd), Eswatini (75th), Malawi (76th), Kenya and Tanzania (77th), Zambia and Tunisia (78th), Gambia (80th), Uganda and Cape Verde (81st).

The African countries which surpassed Nigeria were also Zimbabwe (83rd), Ghana and Morocco (84th), Sierra Leone and Mozambique (85th), Benin (86th), São Tomé and Príncipe and Rwanda (87th) ), Mauritania (88th), Burkina Faso (89th), Gabon (90th) and Côte d’Ivoire (91st).

The others were Senegal, Madagascar and Equatorial Guinea (92nd), Togo and Guinea (93rd), Niger, Mali, Comoros and Chad (94th), Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic and Algeria (95th), Egypt, Burundi and Angola (96th), Liberia and Cameroon (97th), Republic of Congo (98th) and Djibouti (99th).

Nigeria beat only seven countries on the continent, namely Ethiopia (102nd), South Sudan (103rd), Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of Congo (104th), Sudan (106th), Libya (107th) and Somalia (111th).

A professor of international economics at the University of Benin, Hassan Oaikhenan, in an interview with Sunday PUNCH, described Nigeria’s ranking as unsurprising, saying the country’s self-proclaimed African Giant status was a misnomer.

He said: “I’m surprised Nigeria came in 101st out of 199. I expected Nigeria to be closer to the bottom of the ladder because it’s not a self-respecting country. “

Oaikhenan said the Nigerian passport was “as worthless as Nigerian currency”, saying that a country that does not respect its own citizens should not expect other countries to show them respect.

The donation argued that it was enough to witness the hardships of Nigerians in the diaspora trying to obtain passports.

He said: “First of all, the claim that Nigeria is the giant of Africa, as far as I’m concerned, is neither here nor there. This is a fallacious claim that does not support empirical evidence. In other words, to me Nigeria is like a giant standing on feet of clay. It is a self-triangulation to call oneself the Giant of Africa.

“I know a friend who tried to renew his passport at the Nigerian Consulate in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. In fact, somewhere along the line the person and a few others have been given dates.

“They got there and were kept there in the cold. Americans and other nationals watched the Nigerians gathered around the Nigerian consulate in Atlanta. It is shameful ! If a country can treat its citizens in this way, why do you expect another country to respect the integrity of that country’s passport? ”

He described it as “blatant nonsense” to expect this, saying it was not news that other countries were not respecting the Nigerian passport.

In its Q3 2021 edition, the Henley & Partners Global Mobility Report, a quarterly publication reportedly featuring commentary from leading academics and experts on key trends, explained travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the index’s “latest findings and research”, there is cause for optimism, although this should be tempered by the fact that cross-border travel continues to be significantly hampered.

The report noted: “Although some progress was made, between January and March 2021, international mobility had been restored to only 12% of pre-pandemic levels during the same period in 2019, and the gap between theoretical and real travel access offered. by passports, even of high rank, remains important.

“Compared to the travel access currently available, even for the highest rated passport holders, the picture is very different: Japanese passport holders have access to less than 80 destinations (equivalent to the passport power of Arabia Arabia, which ranks 71st), while Singaporean passport holders can access fewer than 75 destinations (equivalent to the passport power of Kazakhstan, which sits at 74th place). ”

However, a professor of international law and jurisprudence, Akin Oyebode, criticized the HPI methodology, saying that rather than passports, one should examine the impact of political leadership in tandem with the well-being of nationals to determine the position. world of a country.

Oyebode, in an e-mail to Sunday PUNCH, said: “This classification is questionable and has little bearing on the validity and / or acceptability of a country’s passport and any other travel document. A country’s position in the international community has more to do with good governance and improving the quality of life of citizens than with rankings by self-assessors.

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