The Green Passport Needs Urgent Revamping

By: Ololade Otayemi
CEO at The Orbra Company | Startup Mentor at Faster Capital, Dubai, UAE | Partnerships and International Business Lead at NBWSM, GA, USA | Ex Chief of Staff at Ventures Platform NG

The green passport needs an urgent perception revamp. My work requires me to travel around the world often. When I present my green passport across the world, i often get a different treatment.

The warmth and smiles enjoyed by people before me sometimes changes very quickly. The guys with the blue, red etc passport are treated like kings and those with the green passport… well… In October 2021, i had to be in 6 cities across 4 continents in the space of 2 months, i saw this happen almost back-to-back at most airports.

 In one of the countries in Europe, i was asked some really annoying questions and delayed unnecessarily because apparently i had a special visa that they think did not tally with the color of my passport (if you know what i mean). I wondered if I’d get the same treatment if i carried a different colour of passport. Most likely not. Recently, I needed to travel again and this time, the discrimination was by my fellow Nigerians at our own airport, the people with other passports were treated much better.

Yesterday, i got news that one of the countries I frequent and I’m starting a business in has suspended the easiest and fastest visa process they have just for Nigerians.

Basically, because our people have misrepresented us and it now affects us all.

Another time, i was stuck in another airport in Europe because I missed a connecting flight, which by the way, was the fault of the airline. I was told to find a chair in the airport to spend the night. Meanwhile, i heard a story of my wife’s cousin who holds a blue passport and his country almost grounded an airport because he missed his flight and his family couldn’t reach him. I had to insist on the airline getting me a hotel and treating me better and THEY DID!

This reminds me of one of @feladurotoye saying “a third-class citizen of a first- world country will be treated better than a first-class citizen of a third-world country”

We need to get Nigeria right as a matter of urgency! JAPA is not the solution. Please go get your PVC!

In all of this, I am Nigerian and I am proud to be one!

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