UK Foreign travel advice – Nigeria

COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.

• Summary

• Coronavirus

• Return to the UK

• Safety and security

• Terrorism

• Local laws and customs

• Entry requirements

• Health

• Money

• Travel advice help and support

Summary

Still current at:

2 April 2020

Updated:

1 April 2020

Latest update:

Addition of information on restrictions of movement in Ogun State with effect 3 April for 14 days. Update on other states also under movement restrictions: Osun, Niger, Kaduna, Kano, Rivers, Kwara, Ekiti. Clarification of key exemptions in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun movement restrictions. (‘Coronavirus’ and ‘Return to the UK’ pages)

Coronavirus: stay up to date

Cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Nigeria. See information on measures introduced in Nigeria to limit the spread of the virus. Find out how to return to the UK from Nigeria.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising British nationals against all non-essential international travel at this time. Existing advice for Nigeria remains in place:

The 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

• within 20km of the state border with Kaduna and Zamfara states in Niger State, west of the Kaduna River

• 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

On 26 January 2020, a spokesperson for President Buhari announced the President had ordered air strikes in Niger state against criminal groups operating out of the Dogon Gona forest area bordering Zamfara and Kaduna states. Airstrikes are yet to take place in Niger State, however, helicopter gunships have reportedly been operating in Kaduna State targeting cross border banditry. If you decide to travel to these areas of Niger state, you should follow the advice of local authorities.

The al Qaeda-linked terrorist group Jamaat al Ansar al Muslimeen fi Bilad al Sudan, better known as Ansaru, claims to have killed at least 6 people, kidnapped dozens, and destroyed several vehicles during an ambush along the Kaduna-Zaira highway in Kaduna State in mid-January. If you decide to travel to Kaduna State, you should avoid regular patterns of travel or movement, and aim to only travel during daylight hours. See Terrorism

There is an ongoing outbreak of lassa fever across a number of states. See Health

Following the death of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a US strike in Baghdad on 3 January, the Nigerian Inspector-General of Police has placed his forces across the country on high alert because of an increased risk of public disturbance. The British High Commission is not aware of specific threats against British nationals, but you should continue to avoid large crowds and public demonstrations as they can turn violent unexpectedly and at short notice. If you become aware of any nearby unrest or disturbances, you should leave the area immediately. Be aware of your surroundings, remain vigilant and keep up to date with the latest developments, including via the media and this travel advice.

Since January 2018, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) has protested regularly in central Abuja and other cities. These protests, particularly in Abuja, have the potential to turn violent. See Local travel

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Nigeria. Most attacks occur in the north east, particularly in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States. There have also been significant attacks in Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Jos and Bauchi States and in the Federal capital, Abuja. Further attacks are likely. Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect western interests as well as places visited by tourists. You should avoid places where crowds gather, including political meetings, religious gatherings and places of worship, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, transport hubs and camps for displaced people. See Terrorism

There’s a high threat of kidnap throughout Nigeria. Kidnaps can be motivated by criminality or terrorism, and could be carried out for financial or political gain. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the risk of kidnap increases after dark. The security environment in the north east has deteriorated since 2018 and there is a heightened risk of kidnap. Kidnaps in the north east have included humanitarian and private sector workers. There are also reports that Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa (ISWA) are continuing to actively plan to kidnap foreigners. As well as in north-east Nigeria, extremist groups operate in some northern and middle belt states including Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Kogi, Kaduna, Niger and Adamawa. If you’re working or travelling in these States then you should be aware of the risk of terrorist kidnapping. See Terrorist kidnaps and Criminal kidnaps

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 and keep others informed of your travel plans 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. Consular support is offered in Nigeria although limited in areas where the FCO has existing advice against all travel and all but essential travel (as set out above).

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.

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.

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