The Nigerian Passport Sinks Again: The Cause, Effects, and Way Forward

It’s no longer news that the Nigerian passport has again dropped in the Global Ranking, making sure that the New Year starts with another setback for a typical Nigerian passport holder, Mad oooo!

Away from the unstable reputation of our dear country, dropping to the 95th position in the global ranking will result in a herculean traveling process for a Nigerian passport holder. 

Before analyzing means at which these effects can be reduced, let’s take a look at the actual effect of the decline itself. 

Travel Restrictions: as a Nigerian passport holder, it is no doubt that you are restricted as regards the number of countries you can easily access, unlike strong passports like the USA, UK, and Canada etc.

Longer Visa Processing Time: Due to the decline, this will equally result into visas being approved later than necessary, as its value in the global scene had been dropped; hence, there is a high probability of a better passport holder to be considered by the home country before a Nigerian passport.

Soiled Image: Day after day, the Nigerian reputation largely continues to sink in the international scene, and with this latest decline, it only means that we have just added to our woes, which of course affects so many things.

Poor Treatment of the Nigerian Passport at Port Entries: With the required documents, guidance and a bit of luck, visas to developed countries can be granted to a Nigerian passport holder, but with the decline, there is a high chance of his/her passport (and even personality) being subjected to poor treatment at port entries of these countries, these includes unnecessary delay, search, questioning and all other occurrences that might play out as an embarrassment. 

It should be noted that the decline of the Nigerian passport didn’t just occur because “the structure hates us (maybe)”, or “there is a body that just tweaks the numbers whenever and however they feel (maybe)”, or “our Government is not paying attention to the country’s international reputation (also, maybe)”, or some other reasons that might be playing in your head, but truthful, Nigerians are LARGELY considered to be the actual causes of the continuous decline, here is how:

Illegal Migration of many Nigerians abroad: According to the US Department of Homeland Security, an estimated 29,723 (twenty-nine thousand, seven hundred and twenty-three) Nigerian immigrants living in the United States “overstayed” their U.S non-immigrant tourism/business visas between October 1, 2017, and September 30, 2018. Note that the said number applies for just USA; apparently, there is a wave of Nigerian Illegal Immigrants sweeping across America, Europe and other parts of the world. No doubt, these countries are well aware of the illegal in-flock and that is a major dent on the country’s image, leading to the decline of the Nigerian passport value.

Economic Mess: The economic situation of Nigeria no doubt is also a factor that results in the decline. As humans, we generally want to associate with a profitable relationship; most developed countries operate on a ‘no-visa or friendly-visa’ entry process amidst themselves, due to their stable and buoyant economies. The continuous decline of the Nigerian economy, especially as we are largely an importing and depending market renders us economically subpar in the international scene; therefore, we are not invited to the party.

Careless Social Media Posts: The internet is continuously making the world a global village, as its ability to shrink the universe for easy accessibility continues to grow by each day. Against this backdrop, the contemporary age unlike before has made it possible for people who are in different continents to communicate easily, exchange cultures, ideas and a lot more. 

The Nigerian passport decline is also as a result of the picture we project to the world via the internet, especially SOCIAL MEDIA. Nigerians are very quick to expose and regard their country as deplorable, pathetic and generally a ‘hellhole’ to exist in. Everyday Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts from different Nigerians continue to demean the country and this only dents our image the more.

Presentation of Fake Documents by Nigerian Passport Holders: According to a survey, 70% of visas bearing Nigerian Passport holders get declined due to fake documents submitted during the visa processing process – a Nigerian Norm. These reoccurring occurrences largely caused by FAKE AND DUBIOUS LOCAL TRAVELLING AGENCIES has crushed our credibility as travelers, hence, red-flagging as risks or threats to the intended country to be visited.

Apparently, for the Nigerian passport to rise in the global ranking, a lot needs to be done by the government and its citizens, but pending that time, “Nigerians still need to travel, right?” Of course yes! There are a thousand things that have to be done abroad; education, medical treatment, tourism, business, etc. Hence, it is concrete that our devalued passport will still be presented to process requires visas. 

That been said, a reliable way to still make use of the Nigerian passport is to BUILD A SOLID TRAVELLING EXPERIENCE OVERTIME before applying to Major countries like the USA, UK, CANADA and the likes. There are a good number of visa-friendly countries that Nigerian passport holders can easily have access to, we advise that you visit those countries first (ensuring you don’t have a bad travel record as well), hence that would boost your chances of securing visas of other Major countries. 

Shalom!

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