Foreign travel advice

Nigeria

Summary

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:

  • Borno State
  • Yobe State
  • Adamawa State
  • Gombe State
  • riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States
  • within 20km of the border with Niger in Zamfara State

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to: 

  • Bauchi State
  • Zamfara State
  • Kano State
  • Kaduna State
  • Jigawa State
  • Katsina State
  • Kogi State
  • within 20km of the border with Niger in Sokoto and Kebbi States
  • Non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers State
  • Abia State

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Nigeria. Most attacks occur in the north east, particularly in Borno (including central Maiduguri and along access routes connecting the city to other major towns), Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe States. There have also been significant attacks in Kano, Kaduna, Jos and Bauchi States and in the capital Abuja.

The risk of terrorist attack increases around religious festivals, so will be elevated in the run up to and throughout the Christmas and New Year holiday period. Terrorist groups have threatened to conduct bombings and attacks in the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) area during this period. You should avoid places where crowds gather, including religious gatherings and places of worship, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, transport hubs and camps for displaced people. Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect western interests as well as places visited by tourists. Besides Abuja, other major towns and cities remain particularly at risk, including Kano and Kaduna. See Terrorism

There’s a high threat of kidnap throughout Nigeria. Recent terrorist kidnaps have occurred mostly in northern Nigeria, but could occur anywhere. There are reports that Boko Haram is actively planning to kidnap foreigners, including in Bama Local Government Area of Borno state, along the Kumshe-Banki axis.

There’s a high threat of terrorist kidnapping in areas where there is a Boko Haram presence or Islamic State West Africa (ISWA). As well as north east Nigeria, this is believed to include some northern and middle belt states including Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Niger and Adamawa states.

If you’re working or travelling in areas where there is a Boko Haram presence, especially in the north-east of Nigeria, you should be aware of the risk of terrorist kidnap. There is a high threat of criminal kidnap in the Niger Delta region and Kogi state. Kidnaps can be for financial or political gain, and can be motivated by criminality or terrorism. See Terrorism and Criminal Kidnaps

You should be aware of your surroundings and avoid large crowds and public demonstrations as they can turn violent unexpectedly and at short notice. Follow news reports and be alert to developments. If you become aware of any nearby unrest or disturbances, you should leave the area immediately. Violent crime is common. See Crime

UK health authorities have classified Nigeria as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Around 117,000 British nationals visit Nigeria each year. Most visits are trouble-free.

Before considering travel to areas to which the FCO advise against all or all but essential travel you should take professional security advice. Be vigilant at all times, keep others informed of your travel plans and vary your routines. If you’re working in Nigeria you should follow your employer’s security advice, make sure your accommodation is secure and review your security measures regularly. The level of consular assistance available to British nationals in areas to which the FCO advise against all or all but essential travel is limited.

Flash flooding can occur during the wet season (June to October). There is a greater risk from water-borne diseases during the rainy season. See Health

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. Make sure your policy covers you for the type of travel you’re proposing to undertake.