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Did You Know? Not All Nigerian Passports Are Green

Everyone knows Nigerian Passports are Green. The reason the Green Passport is so popular is that every Nigerian is entitled to it. The different Passports we are referring to is not the ECOWAS passport (e-passport) or Machine Readable Passport (MRP). Neither is it the pages of a passport, the 32 or 64-page booklets. The Green Passport is just one out of the five different colour-coded Passports we have in Nigeria.

Let’s take a look at all the Nigerian Passports:

  1. Standard e-Passport– This passport has a Green booklet cover. It’s for all Nigerians either by birth, naturalisation or citizenship registration. It can be got in two ways, either by fresh application or renewal of an existing passport. The renewal process can also be called Passport Re-issuance. Re-issuance occurs when the passport validity expires, the passport gets damaged or stolen, the visa pages get exhausted, when there is a data capture error during the fresh application phase or a change in name due to marital status.
  2. Official e-Passport– This passport has a Blue booklet cover. It’s for workers in Government parastatals such as members of the State Executive Council and their assistants or advisers, Deputy General managers and Managers of Federal and State parastatals like The Civil Service. Others who qualify for it include Deputy Chairpersons and Secretaries of Local Government Council, Deputy Directors and above in CBN and their equivalent in Federal owned Banks and allied institutions. Even people in the military are eligible to carry this passport. People with the rank of Colonel and above in the Army and their equivalent in the Navy and Airforce; ACP and above (NPF), ACSIO in DSS and Immigration, Military and Police Officers on Peacekeeping Missions. AC and above in paramilitary Services, Vice and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Federal and State Universities and their equivalents in the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, 1st Class Traditional Rulers/Chiefs are also eligible carriers of this passport. Not to mention, those Senior Government Officials i. e. GL.08-14 on Official assignment abroad (provided there is an SGF/SSG approval for such official trips). The catch is at the end of their office tenure, having an Official Passport becomes unauthorised and must be returned to the Comptroller General of Immigration.
  3. Diplomatic passport– This passport has a Red booklet cover. It is for Nigerian Diplomats and anyone in top government parastatal who the Government approves. We mean Nigerian Ambassadors to other countries, Mr President, the Vice President, etc. No person is allowed to have two of the same passport (Diplomatic/official) by law. And once they leave office, they legally should not have this passport in their possession. It must be returned to the Comptroller General of Immigration.
  4. MPR Seaman’s passport– This passport has a Maroon booklet cover. For those who don’t know, maroon is a dark shade of red. It is also known as a certificate of identity. This passport is issued to Nigerians working offshore, on watercraft or ocean-going vessels. You do know there is such a thing as international waters and coast guards, right? With this document, you can avoid being confused with a pirate or illegal migrant.
  5. Pilgrims passport– This passport is intended for those who plan to go out of the country on pilgrimages to Holy Lands like Jerusalem. That is why it has no fixed colour; for security reasons. Imagine someone who went for Hajj in Mecca, disappeared in 2016 and resurfaced three years later. From the colour of the pilgrim’s passport alone, the Nigerian embassy there will be able to tell what year the person went M.I.A. This passport also has a catch, it is only valid for six months.

Well, if you didn’t know all these before, you are welcome.



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Ann Esievoadje

Ann Esievoadje is a freelance writer who is passionate about encouraging a reading culture and personal development. She has authored two books, The Quilt (fiction) and Being Mummy and Me (non-fiction). She manages Pulchra Publishing which offers a content creation/editing, transcription, different forms of writing (including Ghostwriting) service and her blog, Life Love and Anything Goes at You can reach her at

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