This is a type of travel certificate issued to Nigerians (by Nigeria Immigration Service) who intend to travel WITHIN Ecowas subregion. It is ONLY valid for travel within the Ecowas subregion. Ecowas Travel Certificate (E.T.C) serves dual purpose, namely:
i. Passport: it is a recognized travel document valid for travels WITHIN countries that are signatories to the Ecowas Treaty.
ii. Form of Identity: It can be held concurrently with the Standard Nigeria Passport (or any of our National Passports). This proves that the holder is a ‘community’ (Nigerian) citizen.
The certificate can be obtained at the service headquarters, thirty-six (36) state commands and F.C.T office of NIS. E.T.C has a validity of two (2) years and shall be renewable for a further period of two (2) years. ETC could be replaced or amended if:
i. It is mutilated in any form or requires amendment
ii. If it is confirmed lost or stolen
iii. If the pages are exhausted while the Certificate is still valid
iv. If it has lasted for the four (4) years total validity period.
Economic Community of West Africa States (E.C.O.W.A.S) was established in May 1975 to foster the economic integration and shared development of West African subregion. It’s member States includes:
7. Sierra Leone
8. Equitorial Guinea
9. Benin Republic
10. Burkina Faso
11. Cape Verde
12. Cote d’ Ivoire
14. Guinea Bissau
ECOWAS PROTOCOL STIPULATES:
A. Free Entry within 90 Days: all nationals of member states are entitled to ninety (90) days of stay in another member state. Provided the person has a valid travel documents e.g country’s passport or Ecowas Travel Certificate (issued by the Ecowas national’s country). Admission into the host country MUST be through approved Port of Entry.
B. Right of Residence: All Ecowas nationals with valid travel document who enters the host country through approved Port of Entry has the right to reside there upon procurement of residence card (valid for five (5) years subject to passport validity).
C. Right of Establishment of Business: All nationals (ECOWAS) in possession of ETC or country’s passport, admitted into the host country through approved Port of Entry and haven procured Residence Card are entitled to this Right of Establishment of Business. In addition to registration of business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (in accordance with Companies and Allied Matters Act of 1990).