by Nkem Ndem
The Nigerian passport is not only every citizen’s prized possession -as it is not only a finite means of identification for any citizen of the country, but also, it is every Nigerian traveler’s badge of honor. Without it, it is almost impossible to visit any other part of the world or even perform basic transactions within the country. It therefore seems to be a matter of common sense to keep it protected by getting a cover for it.
No doubt, a passport cover may seem unimportant to many travellers who are more preoccupied with travel details, but it certainly is not just a frivolous accessory; it can prevent problems down the road. It is no secret that Border officers abroad can reject a passport for being dog-eared, torn, or otherwise beat-up and these usually only happens when the passport is not protected.
There are pickpockets and thieves everywhere, especially at travel ports and terminals, and they target anything they think may be valuable or may contain important or useful information such as the passport. Encasing your passport in a cover keeps it safer from the eyes and hands of would be thieves. Without a cover, it is clearly visible when on your person, and an easy target. A Nigerian passport with a U.S. or UK Visa can fetch a lot of money on the black market and thieves will go to great lengths to get them. It is advisable to keep a passport with a unique holder with items that do not look like valuable identification.
Passport covers usually come in different and unique designs that are different from the uniform passport design. Having your passport placed in a cover ensures that you can spot it amongst a large pile of identical passports, a normal occurrence at collection stations at airports and immigration centres. Also, If you are with your family, or a group of friends, it can be stressful having to open each individual one until you find the one that is yours. A cover saves time and reduces “wahala” at customs.
Most passport covers are waterproof and so they protect your passport from wear and tear as well as other elements. There is less chance of it being ruined by accidental water spillage, food stains, or ink marks , Not to mention the possibility of mud and other dirt and grime getting on it. It keeps the appearance of the passport intact and ensure it does not get damaged easily.
Protects your personal information
Aside from keeping your passport from getting beat up, water-soaked or stained, some covers can also block RF readers from stealing your information. While identity thieves are not very common and the entire idea is not far-fetched. You never know who has you listed as a target.
To keep things stylish
There are different styles and designs of passport covers. Owning one that is catchy and appealing can serve to add to your overall look. Also, it can get you friends as people could accost you to ask about your passport cover: where you bought it, e.t.c or just compliment you on it. It could even be your ice-breaker; you could start conversations by asking people what they think of your passport holder.