Updated: Oct 20
If you travel to Nigeria, go over this travel risk advisory to understand the current security situation in the country.
NIGERIA TRAVEL RISK: Level 3, reconsider travel to Nigeria due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime. Exercise increased caution due to COVID-19. Some areas have increased risk [source: US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs].
With over 200 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country globally. Nigeria has the largest economy on the continent. The major industries are oil and gas, agriculture, tourism, and mining.
The country is among the top ten biggest oil producers in the world and the first in Africa. Many international petroleum companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Agip, Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, and Total operate in Nigeria. However, the oil and gas industry is disrupted by theft, piracy, and illegal oil extraction, hindering the economy.
Nigeria is also known for producing and exporting agricultural products such as oil palms and cocoa since its south has ideal climate conditions for agriculture. The country's north is not fit for farming but more for livestock.
The country's tourism sector is growing since sandy beaches, tropical jungles, and wildlife attract many international tourists each year [read more about Banana Island, Lagos—the most expensive neighborhood in Nigeria].
Although Nigeria has abundant deposits of precious minerals like gold, iron ore, and uranium, the mining industry is less developed.
There are occasional clashes between different tribes in the Plateau state. Ethnic conflicts between various armed groups occur in the Niger Delta states; these armed groups are against Western interests and carry out attacks on oil and gas facilities and workers, resulting in fatalities and damage [find out more about an attack at Shell facility in Nigeria's southeast]. Curfews are often and unexpected.
Civil protests can occur suddenly and become violent, particularly in Abuja, Lagos, and other larger cities, causing traffic disruption.
There is a surge of violent crime across Nigeria, involving armed robbery, kidnap for ransom, home invasions, and hijacking. In larger cities [Lagos and Abuja], there is a high level of criminal activity. Gangs often operate in areas with tourists and foreigners. Attacks on people using ATMs are often. There are cases in which people have been attacked by persons posing as police or military. Government and corporate clients should take into account hiring close protection services in Nigeria to ensure the protection of VIPs.
Nigeria faces increasing terrorism and insurgency issues. Northern states are prone to terrorist attacks, including Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, and Yobe. There is a state of emergency in some northern parts of the country because of frequent terrorist incidents. Terrorists can strike anywhere, anytime, and the situation can quickly deteriorate. Terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) are very active and responsible for many kidnappings and deadly attacks on civilian and government targets [view more about growing terrorist threat across Africa].
The kidnapping threat is significant in Nigeria [especially in northern and Niger Delta states]; expatriates are mainly targeted. Abductions are frequent, and hostages are held captive until a ransom is paid; otherwise, deaths are reported. Foreigners engaged in oil and gas and non-governmental sectors have been abducted and killed in some cases [read more about how an Italian businessman was kidnapped and freed in Nigeria]. It is highly recommended to consider taking travel insurance covering kidnapping response services prior to your trip. Check out the news about the kidnapping of 73 students from a school in Nigeria.
There is an elevated risk of pirate attacks in the Niger Delta states and the Gulf of Guinea. Armed pirates using speedboats and heavy weapons conduct armed robberies against vessels, ship hijacking, kidnappings, and hostage-taking in those areas.
There is a risk of floods during the rainy season lasting from May to October. The best time for visiting Nigeria is from November to February [winter].
There are venomous snakes and insects throughout the country [discover more about wildlife in Nigeria].
Adequate medical services are limited in Nigeria. It is highly advisable to consider taking travel insurance covering emergency evacuation services.
It would help if you took precautionary measures to prevent bug bites because some insects spread diseases [African trypanosomiasis (sleeping illness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus, yellow fever, and Zika virus]. Be careful of wild animals since infections [influenza, Ebola, Lassa fever, and rabies] can be transmitted from animals to humans.
Routine and preventable vaccines are recommended, such as MMR, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, chickenpox, and influenza.
Coronavirus in Nigeria
International commercial flights are continued in Abuja and Lagos. When arriving in the country, all visitors must wear a face mask, go through temperature measuring and denomination of luggage procedures, maintain social distance, and use hand wash facilities. There is a curfew in effect from 00 PM to 04 AM in Abuja and Lagos. Public gatherings are not allowed, and wearing face masks is mandatory in public spaces.
Visit the official Covid-19 website for the latest info.
Road safety is a big concern in Nigeria due to poor road conditions, driving standards [overspeeding], and crime.
Checkpoints set up by corrupt police and criminals demanding immediate payments/bribery are common across the country.
Road ambushes occur on main roads, including highways, major cities, and routes to/from airports. Criminals apply hijacking techniques to distract [a broken car on the road, a person in need of help] and attack you. It is highly recommended to hire a trusted security company to organize secure transportation.
Using public transport can put you at risk of pickpocketing and armed robbery.
Be careful at the international airports since there have been incidents of armed robberies at the airport. Flight delays within the country are possible due to bad weather.
Language: the official language is English.
Currency: The Nigerian Naira (NGN).
Climate: the country has a tropical climate.
Religion: Nigeria is almost equally split between Christians [49.3%, mainly Protestants] and Muslims [48.8%, primarily Sunni Islam].
Driving side: Nigeria is a right-side-driving country.
Country code: +234.
Voltage: 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Plug type: D and G.
Internet: the service rates are less affordable.
Water supply: the country has insufficient water and sanitation; over 35% lack access to safe water.
If you seek a professional close protection security company to ensure your personal safety and travel security in Nigeria, Nemesis Protection Global can meet your needs by providing top-notch executive protection services. Please have a look and reach us for a free quote today.