The country Nigeria, located in West Africa, is a place that receives a lot of foreigners yearly. Travelling is a pastime that people enjoy and it is also a means via which people conduct business. A lot of visitors coming into Nigeria periodically for tourism, conference, investment, business, medical, religious or spiritual and educational purposes. Whatever the reasons that may attract you to this diverse, amazing and rapidly developing country, there are some things that need to be taken note of, concerning travelling to Nigeria. That’s why we are coming out with this topic: Nigeria travel advice – safety, security and travel warnings.
This article aims to highlight some advice that may prove important to people travelling into the country, or with future plans to make the trip. It spans a range of subjects including safety and security, and last but not least, general travel warnings.
SAFETY & SECURITY
LOCAL TRAVEL: In Nigeria, especially most recently, violence and violence activities can take place. These violent activities may, at times, arise suddenly and without any prior warning and may prove detrimental to someone who is new in the country. As a rule, it is important to watch and listen to local news and check for reports on various developments within the country, which may possibly result in civil unrest.
If your mission in Nigeria is work, then you need to ensure that you follow the local security guidelines laid out by your employer. Professional security advice will usually be provided and it is of utmost importance that you listen to such advice. Vigilance at all times is highly advised and also, it is important that you try, as much as possible to review the security measures you have taken on a regular basis. It is also important that you make sure people are aware of your travel plans before your trip, and you must endeavour to not have predictable routines. Pre-deployment training is also something worth considering as well, or it could be substituted for travelling while very closely protected.
Patrols and checkpoints within the city areas have been increased due to certain incidents and as such, you need to exercise serious caution.
Inter-communal violence is known to happen in the country of Nigeria, most notably in the area known as the middle belt area. Local government announcements, as well as reports in the media, are things you should be very sensitive to while in the nation or in those areas. Also, it is important that you find out everything you can about them before making a trip to these occasionally troubled areas.
Swimming off the coast of the country is not advisable because of rip tides as well as undertow. The occurrence of drowning in those areas is known to happen once in while in those areas.
When at events or gatherings, always be watchful, as hoodlums and criminals may use these places to their advantage and carry out elaborate robberies or simple theft.
Always seek local advice before you engage in any activity within the country as being informed on happening will protect you from potential disaster.
NIGERIA TRAVEL ADVICE – SAFETY, SECURITY AND TRAVEL WARNINGS
NORTHERN NIGERIA: When travelling to the Northern part of Nigeria, you should be excised caution especially going to the north-eastern states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe state. These places have frequent and large numbers of violent attacks with the major threat coming from terrorist organizations called ‘Boko Haram’.
Except it is essential to travel to places such as Bauchi, Zamfara, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Jigawa and Kogi state as well. These states often times feature a high risk of violent attacks and breakouts due to varying reasons. Arm banditry, kidnapping and communal clashes are common. Travel by road to this area is not recommended.
If you should travel by road it is advisable you take a train on the inter-state luxurious buses. Violet attacks are rear on luxurious buses and it does not exist on the train.
If you happen to travel to these places frequently then you need to make sure that you have heavy security dedicated to your protection. Working in Northern Nigeria means that you must ensure that your employer furnishes you with adequate security, the arrangements of which must be reviewed regularly. Predictable activities and modes of movement should be avoided as well.
States like Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, experience regular military activities and as such it is important for you to monitor the various developments ongoing in these states to ensure that you don’t get caught up in any retaliatory attacks that may happen at other parts of the country.
NIGER DELTA STATES: Travel to Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Cross River states (Riverine areas) also required vigilance due to militant activities which usually occur in riverine areas
Travel to states such as Abia, as well as the non-riverine areas of Delta state, Bayelsa state, and Rivers state are also advised against unless they are essential.
However, these areas are beginning to experience peaceful and positive changes recently, due to the security efforts of the present government.
KIDNAPPINGS: Organised Kidnappings are known to occur within the country especially in the Niger Delta areas and Kogi and recently Kaduna state as well. These kidnappings may be of a political nature or could simply be for financial gain. Workers in oil and gas facilities are usually prime targets in the Niger Delta areas.
Robberies and kidnappings have also been known to occur in Abia, Edo as well as Anambra states. The most common place for this occurrence in the area is the Enugu-Akwa-Onitsha expressway located in Anambra state.
CURFEW: Some parts of Nigeria have enacted curfews for security reasons. Some of these places include Borno State, Maiduguri state, and Adamawa state. It is always important to be aware of these curfews and how they work so as not to get caught breaking them.
MARITIME SECURITY: Piracy and armed robberies are known to occur in Nigerian waters, the rivers as well as harbours in the Niger Delta regions as well as the Gulf of Guinea. Those who intend to travel these waters for various purposes, must, first of all, seek professional security advice and then take the necessary precautions to prevent against whatever mishaps that may occur.
STILL ON NIGERIA TRAVEL ADVICE – SAFETY, SECURITY AND TRAVEL WARNINGS
WESTERN NIGERIA: Security wise, the western part of Nigeria is generally secured and free from criminal activities of arm gang such as book harm and the so-called Niger Delta militants.
Experience at the Lagos Airport and the west land borders shows that visitors are coming and going very frequently and in large numbers.
Violent crime is relatively low, more businessmen, investors, Tourist and general visitors are coming in on a daily basis.
Most western states of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun Ondo, Ekiti and Edo are free to visit due to peaceful atmosphere and all year round beautiful weather that is difficult to experience in so many other countries of the world.
Travelling by road to any of the above-mentioned states can be undertaking without security worry or challenges.
ENTRY STANDARD REQUIREMENTS
Usually, the Nigeria mission in your country of residence and travel companies will familiarise you with the entry requirements below are some of the important things to note.
VISA: If you are not from a country that has visa abolition agreement with Nigeria, it is important to note that you must process visa for entry, otherwise you will be denied entry into the country.
Visa On Arrival: Furthermore, if you’re a tourist or business person seeking a visa on arrival, endeavour to get approval before boarding in order not to be refused entry.
STILL ON NIGERIA TRAVEL ADVICE – SAFETY, SECURITY AND TRAVEL WARNINGS
The advice given here is illustrated as a means of helping you make your own decisions as regards Nigeria travel. Instructions and advice for individual trips are nearly impossible to make, which is why the advice is given on a general base.
When one intends to make a trip to a certain area, it is always advised that you read through the safety and travel advice concerning that nation, an area you intend to travel to, and furnished with all the facts, make your own decision. You are the only one who can decide whether or not to travel due to safety reasons.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Despite the various unsafe occurrences that have occurred in the nation, Nigeria still receives its fair share of foreign visitors. Statistically, the rate at which visitors are trooping into western Nigeria from the southern part of Africa and other parts of the world shows that Nigeria is still a preferred tourist destination in West Africa.
In conclusion, the information on security and precautions should not be treated with levity as one would not want to be caught by surprise when something bad happens.
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