The 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has proposed how to strengthen the Nigerian passport and restore its global reputation.
During a Twitter space session organized by a Nigerian news network on Saturday, Parallel Facts, Obi stated that the key to earning respect for the Nigerian passport is to have something valuable to offer to the world.
The former governor of Anambra, said that “respect cannot be earned when a nation is perceived as economically weak and dependent on others. To gain respect as individuals or as a nation, the first step is to put our own house in order by building a strong and stable economy”.
The Nigerian passport is among the bottom 20 to hold in 2023, with visa-free access to only 46 countries according to the Henley Passport Index, a ranking system that evaluates the number of destinations passport holders can visit without requiring a visa.
Obi highlighted the importance of having a robust foreign policy, which he believes is directly linked to a strong domestic policy. He cited examples of international groupings like G7 and G20, formed based on economic strength, and expressed disappointment that Nigeria is not yet a member of such influential forums.
Sharing a personal anecdote, Obi revealed that despite having the opportunity to obtain dual citizenship and residency in other countries, he has chosen to remain solely a Nigerian citizen. He stressed that Nigeria’s leaders, including politicians like himself, have collectively failed the country by not building a better society for future generations.
Obi called for change, stating that “the Nigerian passport can only become respected globally when the nation achieves progress and development”. He called on everyone to do the right thing and work towards building a better Nigeria, emphasizing that respect is earned through responsible and proper actions.