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FULL LIST: Not American Or British, See 2024 World’s Most Powerful Passports

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Henley Passport Index has listed the most powerful passports in the world on Thursday.

HPI is a global passport-ranking website with an original, authoritative ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.

Their index is often based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – the largest, most accurate travel information database – and enhanced by Henley & Partners’ research team.

According to the passport ranking website, four European countries have moved up to share the top spot on the 2024 index.

“Residents of France, Germany, Italy, and Spain now have visa-free access to 194 of 227 destinations, three more than last year.

READ ALSO: FULL LIST: 45 Visa-free Countries Nigerians Passport Can Travel To In 2024

“South Korea, Sweden, and Finland all climbed one spot to take joint second place, with access to 193 locations. Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands shared third place, allowing travel to 192 places.”

“The U.K. now ranks joint fourth (access to 191 destinations), while the U.S. retained joint seventh place (188 destinations). A decade ago, the two countries shared the top spot. And comparing this year’s list to the 2014 ranking reveals some other major shifts.”

A report by Times revealed that: “The United Arab Emirates was the fastest climber over the past decade, jumping to 11th place and offering access to 183 destinations without a visa. And China, up two spots this year to land in 62nd place, has visa-free access to 85 destinations — almost twice as many as 10 years ago.”

It added that the chairman of immigration consultancy Henley & Partners, Dr. Christian Kaelin, said that while the general trend over the years had been toward greater travel freedom, the gap between those at either end of the list was wider than ever.

READ ALSO: Facts To Know About The Africa Cup Of Nations

“The average number of destinations travelers are able to access visa-free has nearly doubled from 58 in 2006 to 111 in 2024,” he said.

However, as we enter the new year, the top-ranked countries are now able to travel to a staggering 166 more destinations visa-free than Afghanistan, which sits at the bottom of the ranking with access to just 28 countries without a visa.”

Recall that for the past five years, Singapore and Japan have boasted the world’s most powerful travel documents, granting their citizens access to more countries without a prior visa than anyone else.

See the full list below:

France
Germany
Italy
Japan
Singapore
Spain
Finland
South Korea
Sweden
Austria
Denmark
Ireland
Netherlands
Belgium
Luxembourg
Norway
Netherlands
United Kingdom
Greece
Malta
Switzerland
Australia
Czechia
New Zealand
Poland
Canada
Hungary
United States
Estonia
Lithuania
Latvia
Slovakia
Slovenia
Iceland
United Arab Emirates
Cyprus
Liechtenstein
Malaysia
Bulgaria
Croatia
Romania
Monaco
Chile
Argentina
Brazil
San Marino
Andorra
Hong Kong (SAR China)
Brunei
Israel
Barbados
Mexico
Bahamas
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Vatican City
Seychelles
Uruguay
Antigua and Barbuda
Costa Rica
Trinidad and Tobago
Mauritius
Panama
Grenada
St. Lucia
Ukraine
Paraguay
Dominica
Macao (SAR China)
Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)
Peru
Serbia
Guatemala
El Salvador
Columbia
Honduras
Solomon Islands
Samoa
Nicaragua
Tonga
Tuvalu
North Macedonia
Marshall Islands
Montenegro
Venezuela
Kiribati
Albania
Micronesia
Palau Islands
Moldova
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Georgia
Russian Federation
Türkiye
Qatar
South Africa
Belize
Kuwait
Timor-Leste
Ecuador
Maldives
Vanuatu
Bahrain
Botswana
Fiji
Guyana
Jamaica
Nauru
Oman
Saudi Arabia
China
Papua New Guinea
Bolivia
Thailand
Belarus
Suriname
Lesotho
Namibia
eSwatini
Indonesia
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Malawi
Dominican Republic
Kosovo
Tanzania
Azerbaijan
Morocco
Tunisia
Zambia
The Gambia
Cape Verde Islands
Philippines
Uganda
Armenia
Sierra Leone
Ghana
Rwanda
Zimbabwe
Kyrgyzstan
Cuba
Benin
Mongolia
Mozambique
India
Uzbekistan
Gabon
Sao Tome and Principe
Tajikistan
Burkina Faso
Madagascar
Cote d’Ivoire
Guinea
Mauritania
Togo
Equatorial Guinea
Senegal
Niger
Algeria
Cambodia
Guinea-Bissau
Mali
Bhutan
Central African Republic
Chad
Comoro Islands
Egypt
Haiti
Jordan
Vietnam
Angola
Cameroon
Congo (Rep)
Turkmenistan
Burundi
Laos
Liberia
Djibouti
Myanmar
Ethiopia
Congo (Dem. Rep.)
South Sudan
Iran
Lebanon
Nigeria
Sudan
Eritrea
Sri Lanka
Bangladesh
North Korea
Libya
Nepal
Palestinian Territory
Somalia
Yemen
Pakistan
Iraq
Syria
Afghanistan

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JUST IN: NLC Suspends Nationwide Protest, Extends Ultimatum To FG

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has suspended its nationwide protests, which were held in different states of the federation earlier on Tuesday.

The Labour, in a communiqué at the end of its National Executive Council meeting, said the objectives of the protest were achieved on the first day of the demonstration.

The communique partly reads, “Consequently, NEC-in-session resolved as follows: to suspend street action for the second day of the Protest having achieved overwhelming success thus attained the key objectives of the 2-day protest on the first day.”

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Protesters Storm Jos Streets, Demand End To Hardship, Insecurity

Recall that Nigeria has been hit by rising inflation, food inflation, forex crisis, economic hardship and high cost of living occasioned by the removal of petrol subsidy, attracting protests in parts of the country.

The Presidency had engaged labour leaders in a last-minute talks on Monday night but the meeting ended in a stalemate as the NLC insisted that the protest was going to hold.

But, the NLC grounded economic activities across the country on Tuesday, with labour leader Joe Ajaero, saying that the protest was about hunger and not just a clamour for a review of the minimum wage.

Ajaero said, “You have to understand it. This protest is about hunger. What of those who are not working? The minimum wage, when will it be completed? When will it be implemented? What will be the minimum wage that will remove hunger?”

The communiqué further stated, “the highest organ of the NLC suspended street action for the second day of the Protest having achieved overwhelming success thus attained the key objectives of the 2-day protest on the first day.

READ ALSO: Hardship: Workers Begin Protest In Ondo

“However, Nationwide action continues tomorrow with simultaneous Press Conferences across all the states of the federation by the state Councils of the Congress including the National Headquarters.

“To reaffirm and extend the 7-days ultimatum by another 7 days which now expires on the 13th day of March, 2024 within which the Government is expected to implement all the earlier agreement of the 2nd day of October, 2023 and other demands presented in our letter during today’s nationwide protest.

“To meet and decide on further lines of action if on the expiration of the 14days Government refuses to comply with the demands as contained in the ultimatum.”

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I Went From Millionaire To Zeronaire, Bash Ali Laments At 68

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Former World Boxing Federation Cruiserweight Champion, Bashiru Lawrence Ali, aka Bash Ali, took to social media on Tuesday to reflect on his commitment to fighting corruption as he celebrates his 68th birthday.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Ali recounted the sacrifices he endured over 17 years in his quest to host his Guinness World Record Boxing Championship Fight in Nigeria, emphasizing his refusal to succumb to corrupt practices.

The former World Boxing Federation Champion revealed that his principled stand had cost him dearly, resulting in a decline in his financial fortunes from being a millionaire in dollars to having virtually nothing in Naira.

He wrote: “Today Tuesday, February 27 is my birthday.

READ ALSO: 16 Soldiers, One Officer Face Court Martial In Plateau

“For 17 years I struggled in vain to host in my country, Nigeria my Guinness World Record Boxing Championship Fight because I was bold to say no to corruption in sport in particular and in Nigeria in general.

“In 17 years, I went from being a millionaire in dollars to a zeronaire in naira.

“In 17 years, I was beaten and injured that I had to be admitted twice and treated at the National Hospital in Abuja.

“In 17 years, I was detained eight times at various police stations in Abuja. In 17 years, I was once detained at Kuje Prison for 43 days.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Launches expatriate Employment Levy

“I went through hell in my country not because I am a criminal but because I say no to corruption. Despite juicy offers to fight outside of Nigeria, I never gave up on my dream to fight in Nigeria and I never gave up on Nigeria.

“Today, our dream is finally becoming a reality and because I am an extraordinary human being, I am going to fight until I am 70 years old, retire young and healthy with a lot of money and then go on to be the President of Nigeria. This is my ultimate goal so mark my words.

“Thank u very much for always being by my side. I appreciate you, always. Happy birthday The Great Bash Ali.”

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FULL LIST: Agencies That May Be Scrapped Based On Oronsaye 800-page Report

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President Bola Tinubu has ordered the full implementation of the Oronsaye report.⁣

As a result, the government announced the merging, subsuming, scrapping, and relocation of several agencies.

In 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan established the Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions, and Agencies, with Mr. Steve Oronsaye as the Chairman.

Coming from a private sector background, Oronsaye transitioned into the civil service at a senior level and ascended to the position of Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

Submitted in 2012, the Oronsaye report highlighted the existence of 541 Federal Government parastatals, commissions, and agencies, both statutory and non-statutory.

The 800-page report recommended the reduction of statutory agencies from 263 to 161, scrapping 38 agencies, merging 52, and reverting 14 to departments in different ministries.

A previous investigation by The PUNCH found that the Nigerian government has the potential to save more than N241bn if the recommendations are put into action.

READ ALSO: 20 Insights Into Oronsaye Report As EFCC, FRSC, Others Set For Merger

Below is a list of some of the agencies that may be scrapped if the Oronsaye report is fully implemented as ordered by President Tinubu:

One of the key suggestions in the report is the consolidation of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission into a single agency.

Additionally, the report recommended the elimination of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, with their responsibilities being incorporated into the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
The Salaries and Wages Income Commission is likely to face a similar fate..
38 Federal Agencies were recommended for abolition, including the Public Complaints Commission, National Poverty Eradication Programme, Utilities Charges Commission, National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, National Intelligence Committee, and more.
National Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS be merged as a Department under the Centre for Disease Control in the Federal Ministry of Health.
The merger of National Emergency Management and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Tinubu Orders Full Implementation Of Oronsanye Report⁣ ⁣

The Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa be abolished and its functions, along with those of the Technical Aids Corps, transferred to an appropriate Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Infrastructure Concessionary and Regulatory Commission be subsumed in the Bureau of Public Enterprises for greater synergy and their enabling laws amended accordingly.
It was suggested that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, and the Nigerian Metrological Agency should be combined into a new entity called the Federal Civil Aviation Authority, with their laws adjusted to accommodate the merger.
The committee suggested merging the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council to enhance resource management and utilisation.
The committee suggested repealing the enabling law of the National Commission for Nomadic Education and transferring the Commission’s activities to the Universal Basic Education Commission.
The National Council of Arts and Culture will combine with the National Theatre and the National Troupe to form a single organisation.

READ ALSO: Peter Obi Knocks Tinubu Over Arrest Of BDC Operators

The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure be merged with National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization and Project Development Institute
The committee suggested that the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria and the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission be abolished, with the government focusing solely on offering consular services and vaccinations to prospective pilgrims.
The Nigerian Communications Commission, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission and the regulatory functions of the Nigerian Postal Services were recommended by the committee to be merged.
The National Information Technology Development Agency to be fused into the Ministry of Communication Technology
Nigerian Television Authority, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria & Voice of Nigeria into the Federal Broadcasting Corporation of Nigeria.
The Nigerian Army University to be merged with the Nigerian Defence Academy; to function as a faculty with the the Nigerian Defence Academy.

Air Force institute of Technology also to function as faculty within Nigerian Defence Academy.
Debt Management Office to become an extra-ministerial department in the Federal Ministry of Finance Public Health Department to return to the Federal Ministry of Health
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Council was recommended to merge with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council to enhance resource management and utilisation.

One important recommendation from the committee was to stop providing government funding to professional bodies and councils. Therefore, it is necessary to revise the Professional Bodies (Special Provisions) Act of 1972, which requires the government to offer financial assistance to these organisations.

The list comprises various professional councils and boards in Nigeria, such as the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, Computer Professionals Council of Nigeria, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, Nigeria Press Council, Architects Registration Council, Council for Registered Engineers of Nigeria, Estate Surveyors’ Registration Board, Town Planners Council, Nigerian Builders Council, Quantity Surveyors’ Registration Board of Nigeria, and Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geoscientists.

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