Singapore is most powerful as Nigeria places 90th in global passport ranking
A new report has ranked Nigeria 90th on the list of countries with the most visa-free access to other nations. The report released by Henley and Partners on Tuesday was based on exclusive and official data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
According to the report, Nigeria ranked 90th alongside South Sudan with visa-free access to only 46 platforms. Nigeria also ranked fifth lowest on the list of African countries with visa-free travel access, only above the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Sudan, and Libya — all countries experiencing extreme violence.
Seychelles is in 24th position with access to 155 countries and the highest-ranked African country. Mauritius ranked 29th with access to 148 countries while South Africans can visit 106 countries without a prior visa, holding down the 51st spot.
Singapore topped the list, knocking off Japan for the first time in five years into third place. Citizens of Singapore, according to the report, can visit 192 travel destinations out of 227 around the world visa-free.
Germany, Italy, and Spain all moved up into the second place with visa-free access to 190 destinations, while Japanese passport holders alongside those from Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, South Korea, and Sweden — all in third place – have access to189 destinations without a prior visa.
Both the United Kingdom and the United States jointly held first place on the index nearly 10 years ago in 2014 but have been on a downward trajectory ever since, now holding fourth and eighth places, respectively.
Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index, with a visa-free access score of just 27 countries, followed by Iraq with 29, and Syria with 30 — the three weakest passports in the world.
The general trend over the history of the 18-year-old ranking has been towards greater travel freedom, with the average number of destinations travelers are able to access visa-free nearly doubling from 58 in 2006 to 109 in 2023. However, the global mobility gap between those at the top and bottom of the index is now wider than it has ever been, with top-ranked Singapore able to access 165 more destinations visa-free than Afghanistan.
Chairman of Henley & Partners and inventor of the passport index concept, Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, said only eight countries worldwide have less visa-free access today than they did a decade ago while others have been more successful in securing greater travel freedom for their citizens.
“The UAE has added an impressive 107 destinations to its visa-free score since 2013, resulting in a massive leap of 44 places in the ranking over the past 10 years from 56th to 12th position. This is almost double the next biggest climber, Colombia, which has enjoyed a jump of 28 places in the ranking to sit in 37th spot.
“Far more than just a travel document that defines our freedom of movement, a strong passport also provides significant financial freedoms in terms of international investment and business opportunities. Global connectivity and access have become indispensable features of wealth creation and preservation, and its value will only grow as geopolitical volatility and regional instability increase
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox every day of the week. Stay informed with the Guardian’s leading coverage of Nigerian and world news, business, technology and sports.