The Henley Passport Index, a global index which assesses and ranks the world's most travel-friendly passports, has released its latest report for the first quarter of 22.
The Q1 2022 index cross-examined the passports of 199 countries with 227 travel destinations; and ranked these passports based on global access and mobility.
Each passport is scored based on the number of destinations that the holder can access visa-free. This also applies if passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit, or an electronic travel authority upon entry.
Checks by Legit.ng indicate that Seychelles has the most powerful passport in Africa. Below is the list of top 10 African countries with the most powerful passports.
Seychelles' passport which is ranked 28th globally is the most powerful on the African continent.
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Those who hold Seychelles’ passport holders can travel to 152 countries visa-free.
Mauritius which has the second most powerful passport in Africa is ranked 31st globally. The country's passport holders can travel to 146 destinations visa-free.
3. South Africa
South Africa's passport is ranked 51st globally. It, however, has the third most powerful passport in Africa.
South Africa's passport holders can access 104 counties visa-free.
With the ability to travel to 86 countries visa-free, Botswana is ranked 60th most powerful country globally.
In Africa, Botswana is the fourth most powerful.
Namibia's passport is the fifth most powerful in Africa. At the global level, it is ranked 66th and the holders can visit 78 countries visa-free.
Lesotho is ranked sixth in Africa and 67th globally. Passport holders can visit 77 countries without a visa.
Eswatini's passport holders can visit 74 countries visa-free. It is ranked 69th globally and seventh in Africa.
Malawi is ranked 70th globally on the index. The country's passport holders can access 73 destinations visa-free.
Kenya, the East African giant, is ranked 71 globally. Kenyan passport holders can visit 72 countries without a visa.
Tanzania, another East African country, is ranked 71st globally. It has the 10th most powerful passport in Africa.
Tanzanian passport holders of its passport can access 72 countries without a visa.
Where is Nigeria?
Nigeria has one of the least powerful passports according to the ranking. The most populous African nation is ranked 98th. Its passport holders can visit just 45 countries visa-free.
A closer look at the global ranking shows that Nigeria is even below other African states that did not make it to the top 10 such as Malawi (76th), Niger (90th), Chad (90th) The Gambia (75th), Uganda (76th), Zimbabwe (78th) and Sierra Leone (80th).
Nigeria Immigration reacts
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Immigration Service on Tuesday, March 15, in Abuja reacted to the global ranking.
It said although it welcomed the ranking, it is more concerned with Nigerian passport’s compliance with the global standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
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, The Punch reported.
Okpo argued that Nigeria has been a Public Key Directory of the ICAO since April 2009 and, therefore, sits in a respectable position in the comity of nations.
26 countries Nigerians can Travel to without visa
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the 2021 Global Passport Index revealed that Nigeria passport holders can travel to 26 countries without visa and 19 countries with visa on arrival, making 45 countries.
The index shows that Nigerian passport holders can travel to 16 African countries visa-free.
Nigerian passport holders, according to the report, can also visit five Caribbean countries including Barbados, Dominica and Haiti.