Is Nigeria a safe country to visit? This has been the recurring questions by a lot of foreigners who intend on traveling to the country. Before saying that Nigeria is safe there are many things to consider first. This involves things like internal security, which have been affecting the country in recent years. Other critical factors to look at include: Crime rate, Climatic conditions, and the friendliness of the Nigerian people. There are also much more to discover as we progress in this article. Here, we will try to conditionally answer the question as to whether Nigeria is a safe country to visit.
Nigeria is a preferred destination for most people who want to visit the African continent. They are much attracted to the country due to some reasons. Few of the these attraction is that Nigeria is the giant of Africa, which make people to think that if they visit the country, then it’s certainly the intricate part of the continent. Others see the country as being a good business destination due to its large market. To complement this, Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, and it’s equally the largest population in the continent.
For whatever ever reason you may be coming to Nigeria, this article will give you a guide by highlighting the safety and security threats in the country.
Things to Know Before Visiting Nigeria
You might be hearing about Nigeria on a good and bad aspect. But since you might be planning on a visit, it for you best interest to know the security status in the country. Below are what to consider first before taking a visit to the African giant, Nigeria;
Terrorism in Nigeria
Terrorism has been an issue of concern for not only the affected residents, but also the foreigners who are interested in visiting the country. The country is very prone to terrorist attacks, as it can happen anywhere, and there are multiple terrorist groups operating across the country’s land. Terrorist groups like the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), al Qaeda-linked terrorist group Ansaru (Jamaat al Ansar al Muslimeen fi Bilad al Sudan), Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa (ISWA), have been in operation in the country. These groups have been terrorizing the country for many decades now, thereby posing security threats.
However, the government is not muted on these issues. The security forces has been fully equipped to mitigate and eradicate the effects of these groups.
For travelers intending on a visit to Nigeria, the UK Government advisory advises that, “most attacks take place in northern and north east Nigeria”, however, they further stated that travelers should pay attention to their surroundings at all times, and stay alert. Also, they should avoid crowded places or large gatherings, during the period of civil unrest.
Indeed, due to security issues, there are several areas in Nigeria, that are considered as no-go zones. This is much contributed to terrorist and criminal activities and attacks. The British and US Government travel advisories both caution against traveling to the northeastern part of the country. Precisely, places like Borno, Yobe and Northern Adamawa State are unsafe due to a high risk of terror attacks by insurgent groups. Other areas to avoid include Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, and Kano state, some part of the coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, and Rivers states.
Kidnapping and Robberies
The rate of kidnapping and robbing of foreigners has been alarming in the country. This has make most white foreigners irrespective of their class, to be accompanied with security guards. A look at the most affected areas; the states of Anambra – especially the Enugu-Awka-Onitsha expressway – Kogi, Abia, and Edo are hotspots for robberies and kidnappings. This issue has been of concern in the sense that it removes foreigners interest in the country. To keep safe from this, affected persons and victims should immediately give in to the demands of a their captors to avoid unwanted circumstances. Also, road travel should also be limited in these areas, which is always outside cities. It is also advisable that anyone who wish to travel in these locations should do so in convoy and during the day time.
Scams in Nigeria (Yahoo-Yahoo)
A lot of foreign travelers in Nigeria are often affected by online money scams and fake Nigerian marriages. Many of these crimes are initiated through email, and any suspicious messages should be reported to the security authorities. Yahoo-Yahoo as popularly called, is a fake marriage by Nigerians and intending to scam foreigners (mostly women) for money.
Also, in the Nigerian airports, shady characters often roam these places looking for a gullible person to defraud or rob. Safety measures is that while at the airport always be aware of this type of people and notice the security agents.
In Nigeria, there is some bit of political and economic instability which paves way for a cornucopia of crime. These crimes ranges from basic thievery and pick pocketing to armed robberies, muggings, abductions, and car-jackings. While terrorist issues is more concentrated in the north of the country, robbery and kidnapping is most prevelant in the southern parts. Among their victims, foreigners are more vulnerable. These bandits usually take advantage of these people and extort good amount of money from them. These issues has reduce interest of foreigners and tourist who wish to visit the country.
Is Nigeria Safe to Visit?
After having a knowledge of the security issues in the country, you can now answer whether the country is really safe to visit. But in order to clear uncertainty and doubts here, we will be more specific in answering this question straightly.
Nigeria is safe to visit, but conditionally. Just like other countries in the world, all these security threats like kidnapping, armed robbery, scamming and all others, are happening. But does that stop foreigners and travelers from visiting the country? The answer is certainly No. To stay safely in Nigeria, the accompanied tips we gave in the course of the article, is what you should stick to. On the whole, so far the country is safe for its residents, then how much more for foreigners.
That’s our take on this issue, as we have tried to answer this inveterate question on whether Nigeria is a safe country to visit. We believe this write-up will be a guide to foreigners who intend on visiting the country.