The Henley Passport Index for Q2 2023 has ranked the Nigerian passport as the least powerful among the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) nations.
In the study encompassing 199 countries and 227 travel destinations, the Nigerian passport climbed from its former 100th spot to the 91st. The index rates the potency of world passports based on the number of destinations their holders can visit without requiring a visa in advance.
Despite this improvement in global ranking, the total number of countries that Nigerian passport holders can enter without a visa or via visa-on-arrival remains unchanged at 46.
The elevation in ranking may not necessarily imply an actual enhancement in the strength of the Nigerian passport. It could be attributed to other nations experiencing a dip in their previous ratings.
As of June 2022, only 25 countries allowed visa-free travel for Nigerian passport holders. Nonetheless, this figure expands to 45 destinations when considering visa-on-arrival and e-visa schemes.
Among the ECOWAS nations, The Gambia holds the highest rank at 72nd, followed by Sierra Leone at 74th, Cabo Verde at 75th, Ghana at 76th, Benin at 78th, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast at 79th, Guinea at 80th, Senegal and Togo at 81st, Niger at 82nd, Mali and Guinea Bissau at 83rd, Liberia at 87th, and Nigeria at 91st.
Dr Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, explained that shifts in the ranking are influenced by a variety of factors, including reciprocity, economic and sociopolitical stability, and tourism.