Canadian officials have issued travel advisories for Canadians travelling to Nigeria.
Citizens were advised to avoid non-essential travel to Nigeria due to the unpredictability of the country’s security situation and the high danger of terrorism, crime, intercommunal confrontations, armed attacks, and kidnapping.
They were also advised to avoid some regions of the country “because to the possibility of terrorism, armed attacks, kidnapping, and intercommunal and sectarian violence.” It was also mentioned that Nigeria has a gasoline shortage.
The extensive alerts posted on the government’s website read as follows:
Due to the unpredictable security situation throughout Nigeria and the high danger of terrorism, crime, inter-communal riots, armed attacks, and kidnapping, non-essential travel to Nigeria is discouraged.
Due to the potential of terrorism, armed attacks, kidnapping, and intercommunal and sectarian conflict, any travel to the following regions is strictly prohibited:
The five northernmost states of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara.
Plateau, a north-central state
Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, and Yobe
The Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo, and Rivers (with the exception of Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers), where non-essential travel is discouraged.
Abuja, Calabar, and Lagos – Exercise extreme prudence
Due to the prevalence of crime, you should exercise extreme vigilance in Abuja, Calabar, and Lagos.
States in the Northwest and Northeast.
Terrorism, banditry, and kidnapping are threats in the following northwestern and northeastern states:
Adamawa; \sBauchi; \sBorno; \sGombe; \sJigawa; \sKaduna; \sKano; \sKatsina; \sSokoto; \sZamfara; \sYobe.
Bandit organisations are becoming increasingly active in the northwest, notably the state of Kaduna. Frequent are attacks with firearms and explosives, as well as kidnappings. They have aimed for:
local transportation hubs and networks for motorists
Since 2013, the states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe have been under a state of emergency due to the rise in terrorist attacks in the area. In these states, more security personnel have been deployed. In addition, curfews are in effect in cities throughout these states and in Maiduguri. Other curfews may be set in other northern Nigerian cities, or they may be altered on short notice.
In the northern states, local authorities might potentially halt telecommunication services without notice and for indefinite lengths of time. These service interruptions may also have an impact on neighbouring states.
Plateau and Taraba States
Plateau and Taraba are afflicted by occasional outbreaks of intercommunal and sectarian violence. Since the beginning of 2022, there has been an uptick in violent acts, including bombings that have caused a considerable number of casualties. Plateau State has also experienced an upsurge in kidnappings. Additional assaults and abductions are anticipated.
Niger Delta states
Particularly in the states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers, the security situation in the Niger Delta region is fragile and dangerous (except in Port Harcourt, where we advise against non-essential travel). Regional and ethnic conflicts amongst terrorist organisations have contributed to an increase in violent crime and civil upheaval in the region. In the states of the Niger Delta, armed robbery and kidnapping pose a major threat. Foreign interests have also been the target of militant activities. Armed groups have successfully attacked oil installations and personnel, resulting in injuries and fatalities.
If you want to remain in the Niger Delta states despite this warning, maintain constant vigilance.
If you are travelling for business, ensure that your meetings are held in a secure area and that you are familiar with your contact.
When organising excursions, consult with local authorities and leave a precise itinerary with family and friends.
The Niger Delta states face a persistent danger from piracy. In the coastal waters of the Gulf of Guinea, pirate attacks, armed robbery against ships, ship hijackings, kidnappings, and hostage takings occur. Mariners must take the necessary measures. Always avoid coastline locations if you are on land.
Insurgents in speedboats and armed with weapons of high calibre pose a threat.
Abuja, Calabar and Lagos
Be extremely cautious in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, and Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, where the security situation is reasonably steady and the infrastructure is comparatively developed in comparison to the rest of the country. In June 2016, seven persons, the majority of whom were foreigners, were kidnapped on the outskirts of Calabar.
Use extreme caution in the city of Lagos, particularly from Ikeja in the north to Lagos Island, Victoria Island, and Ikoyi, as well as from Mile Two (west end of Lagos) to Chevron Estate on the Lekki Peninsula (east end of Lagos). Beyond this area, non-essential travel is discouraged. In Lagos, violent crimes, such as assaults and armed attacks, have been committed against foreign nationals and in places frequented by them. Avoid travelling unnecessarily at night.
If you decide to visit these cities, you should always maintain a high level of personal security awareness and stay in secure, guarded accommodations.
Always carry photocopies of your official identification and maintain your passports, visas, and travel documents safely.
In Nigeria, crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom, house invasion, carjacking, and violent assault are prevalent. Urban regions, particularly the metropolis of Lagos, and the northern border with Niger and Chad are rife with criminality. Robberies and muggings perpetrated by big, well-armed groups are typical in areas frequented by expats. Some crimes have been perpetrated by individuals impersonating as police or military officers, especially in the Niger Delta.
Pickpocketing and purse snatching are prevalent in busy locations such as public markets and prominent tourist destinations.
Always ensure the safety of your stuff, including your passport and other travel papers.
Avoid walking alone and flaunting wealth in public. Do not leave valuables or baggage unattended.
Use caution when travelling between banks
Criminals may follow you to the ATM in order to rob you, so exercise extreme discretion.
Beaches, notably Lekki and Bar beaches on Victoria Island, should only be visited during daytime hours and in large groups. Tourist trips should be avoided. Register with a trustworthy trip operator.
International and Nigerian nationals are kidnapped throughout Nigeria. They pose a particular concern in the northern, north-eastern, and southern regions of Nigeria.
Since April 2019, there have been multiple kidnappings. These crimes, which are frequently committed by small armed groups, are indiscriminate. Residents and foreigners alike have been kidnapped and held captive for ransom, sometimes for days. Moreover, deaths have been reported.
Numerous Westerners, primarily oil and gas facility workers, have been kidnapped and, in some cases, murdered across the Niger Delta states. Be particularly attentive in:
Warri, Delta state, Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Abia, Anambra, and Imo states.
In the wealthy neighbourhoods of Lagos and the neighbouring states of Ogun, Osun, and Ondo, kidnappings for ransom of Westerners have escalated.
Terrorism poses a concern, primarily in the country’s northern and northeastern regions; nevertheless, assaults have occurred elsewhere, including in Abuja. Since 2018, there have been numerous attacks on individuals, groups, and security forces. Additional assaults are likely.
Targets may consist of:
Governmental structures, such as schools and houses of worship; airports and other transportation hubs and networks; public areas, such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, retail malls, markets, and hotels; and other sites visited by foreigners are excluded from the ban.
Always maintain situational awareness in public spaces.
Terrorists have used athletic events, religious festivals, and other public gatherings to carry out attacks, so be especially careful if you attend one.
On roadways across the nation, police checkpoints are extremely prevalent. To extract money, law enforcement personnel and gangs frequently employ coercive tactics. This is a reoccurring security issue, particularly around the borders of Nigeria. Contact the Canadian High Commission in Abuja or the Deputy High Commission in Lagos if you require assistance.
After violence occurs in dangerous areas, Nigerian authorities implement curfews as a means of restoring calm. Currently, portions of Maiduguri, Adamawa State, Borno State, and Yobe State are under curfew. In Nigeria, curfews and vehicle mobility restrictions can be imposed, modified, and abolished with little notice.
Frequent demonstrations occur, particularly in central Abuja and other big cities. Even nonviolent demonstrations can quickly become violent. They can also cause traffic and public transportation problems.
Avoid regions where there are demonstrations and large groups.
Observe the directives of local authorities
Observe the local media for reports on ongoing demonstrations.
Nationwide, road conditions and road safety are deplorable. Drivers frequently exceed the speed limit, and accidents are prevalent. Due to inadequate lighting, visibility is reduced.
In Nigeria, rental automobiles are available, but you should avoid them. Major hotels and airport customer service centres in Abuja, Kano, and Lagos offer dependable vehicle rental services with drivers.
Traveling to and from the airport requires tremendous vigilance. All preparations must be made before your arrival in Nigeria.
Plan to arrive at the airport during the day, where you will be received by dependable contacts.
If transportation is not provided by hosts or the hotel, rent cars and drivers from renowned security companies.
Before accepting an offer to hire a car and driver, ensure that the price and other details have been agreed upon.
Armed carjackings occur on major roadways around the nation, but they are particularly concerning on:
The routes leading to the international and domestic airports on the major motorways connecting state capitals in major cities, including Lagos and Abuja.
To stop cars on the road, numerous methods are employed, including nail scattering and individuals, particularly pregnant women, feigning injury.
Do not drive at night, especially outside of big cities, because armed banditry and kidnapping are more likely. On important transit routes like the Abuja-Kaduna expressway, criminals frequently target travellers.
Always keep windows closed and doors shut.
Due to the possibility of small thefts and armed assaults, you should avoid using public transportation.
When a cab is in motion, a thief may hide in the trunk before emerging through the rear seat to rob the passenger.
Use caution when utilising taxis
If you must utilise a taxi, ensure that you are the sole passenger.
Motorbike taxis, known in Nigeria as “okadas,” are risky. In a number of cities, okada drivers and passengers must wear helmets.
We do not evaluate whether foreign domestic airlines comply with international safety requirements.
General details regarding foreign domestic carriers
Multiple armed robberies have occurred at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. Some of these situations have led to fatalities.
Confirm your transportation plans in advance of your arrival.
Be aware of thieves posing as airport greeters.
During the dry season, the Harmattan wind causes an abundance of sand and dust in the atmosphere. Occasionally, Nigerian air traffic is banned owing to poor visibility. Occasionally, it is necessary to reroute flights from their original destinations.
There is credit card and ATM fraud. Use caution with debit and credit cards:
Pay close attention when others are handling your cards.
Utilize ATMs located in well-lit public locations or within a bank or company, and avoid card readers with irregular or unique features.
Cover the keyboard with one hand when entering your PIN and review your account statements for any illegal activities.
Coastal waters can be hazardous for swimming. Riptides are common. Multiple drownings occur annually. Follow the warnings and directions of local authorities.
General security advice
The nation regularly encounters fuel shortages.
Monitor local media for indications of conditions preceding fuel shortages.
Ensure you have sufficient materials on hand.