Nigeria, a nation with a population of over 200 million people, has found itself at the bottom of the global passport ranking, offering visa-free access to a mere 46 countries.
This disheartening revelation comes from a recent report by Henley and Partners in partnership with IATA, which placed Nigeria at the 90th position, tying with South Sudan.
Among African countries, Nigeria’s passport stands as the fifth lowest in terms of visa-free travel opportunities.
The country only fares slightly better than the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Sudan, and Libya, all of which face significant challenges related to insecurity and violence.
In stark contrast, South Africa leads the continent with the best-performing passport, allowing its citizens to visit 106 countries without the need for visas. Botswana closely follows with access to 89 countries, trailed by Papua New Guinea (83 countries), Namibia (81 countries), Kenya (76 countries), Malawi (75 countries), and Tunisia (71 countries).
Singapore takes the top spot globally, boasting an impressive 192 countries that its citizens can visit visa-free out of 227 total countries.
This has unseated Japan from its number one position after holding the title for five consecutive years.
Germany, Spain, and Italy share the No. 2 spot, granting their citizens visa-free access to an impressive 190 countries. Not far behind, Japan, South Korea, Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, and Sweden jointly hold the third spot with access to 189 other countries without visas.
Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom secure the No. 4 position, enabling their passport holders to visit about 188 countries without visa requirements.
At the other end of the spectrum, countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, and Yemen rank at rock bottom, offering their citizens access to no more than 35 countries visa-free.
The report underscores the importance of a strong passport and the opportunities it opens for travel and global mobility.
While some countries enjoy robust passport privileges, providing extensive opportunities for their citizens, others like Nigeria face challenges at the bottom, constrained by limited visa-free access.
To enhance Nigeria’s passport ranking and create greater opportunities for its citizens, strategic policies and strengthened diplomatic relations with other nations may be necessary.
By seeking to expand visa-free access and fostering economic and social ties on the global stage, Nigeria can aim to improve its standing in the global passport rankings and open new prospects for its citizens.