10 things you should know before visiting Nigeria


Nigeria is not a country like any other country people would like to visit without certain precautions. Foreign embassies of almost all the European countries and USA are issuing travel warning for the benefit of their citizens from time to time.

Foreign Affairs ministries and International Trade ministry of various countries always advise against non-essential travel to Nigeria. It is expected that all those who want to travel to Nigeria; should maintain an extremely high level of security awareness and inquire about local conditions before travelling in the country.

Some of the major cities including Abuja and Lagos have a regular history of violent crimes like robbery, kidnapping and murders etc. Some of these targeted attacks are against foreign nationals and assaults are witnessed in areas frequented by foreigners. During daytime hours, travellers are advised to remain alert and extremely vigilant. After dark, all unnecessary road travel should be avoided.

Those who are planning to visit Nigeria for essential travels, here are 10 most important points they should follow before embarking on the visit.

1) Never accept any eatable items or packets from any stranger either during the flight or at the airport. Chances are that they may handover you some item, which is banned in Nigeria.

2) Ensure that you have taken vaccine for Yellow fever as International Regulation makes it mandatory before entering some countries including Nigeria. You are expected to hold an International Certificate of Vaccination (yellow card) that has been validated by the approved vaccination center.

3) At the Murtala Mohammed Airport-Lagos, if you want to use trolley to carry your luggage, you have to pay for it. Yes, this service is not free. The charge is Naira 150 or USD 1. So it is better to keep change in your pocket so that you can pay exact change for the service.

4) Before coming out of the airport, the chances are that you may be requested for the weekend money or special money by the attendees at the conveyor belt, immigration counter or at the exit gate etc. Just ignore these requests and do not try to take out money from your pocket.

5) There are certain areas in Nigeria having ethnic, political or religious-based disturbances. Foreigners should avoid going to these areas without proper security arrangements. Apart from this, certain areas are restricted for foreigners and they are not allowed to visit these areas with prior permission only. Always obtain prior permission from Nigerian Government through your embassy before visiting these areas.

6) In general, you will find courteous staff at the airport from whom you can ask for any kind of help such as luggage clearance, immigration clearance etc. Always ask help from uniformed staffs on duty. Please do not forget to start conversation with a formal greeting like Good Morning or Good Afternoon etc.

7) Always pre-arrange your car-pickup and note down the name of the person and phone number who is coming to pick you from the airport. Try not to use the taxi service of the airport as there is no meter system introduced in the cab. In no choice option, ensure that
a. You have a local person to accompany you till the drop point.
b. You have already fixed the fare with the driver.
c. You have noted down the registration number of the taxi.

8)Parking your car near the airport exit to pickup your luggage is strictly not allowed. If you do so, chances are that you may invite a bigger trouble in the form of police interception. Always carry your luggage till the parking area or up to those pickup joints where car parking is allowed.

9) If you have to stay in a hotel, always book the hotel in advance through internet or local connections. Searching for the hotel after reaching the city, may land you in a bigger trouble in the form of touts.

10) While travelling within city limit, wind up the door glasses of the car and keep the doors locked. It is advisable to avoid purchasing items from street hawkers. There were incidents when these street hawkers become highway robbers after the dusk.

For the benefit of the readers, I would like to receive comments from those visitors of my blog who are having some more travel advisories for this country other than mentioned above.

Cheers !

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About Ajay Mishra
A technocrat who believes in deep rooted values of Indian culture and passionate about writing on issues related to social cause. Loves to travel across the globe and meet people from various cultural background. Fitness and yoga freak and loves light and soothing music. I love blogging and writing on issues related to common cause and my field of expertise. See my blog at: http://mycardclub.com https://ajaykmishra.wordpress.com

13 Responses to 10 things you should know before visiting Nigeria

  1. Rohini says:

    It was good to have a better understanding of the scean in Lagos. If you could also help me know more in terms of all the sudden surprises that can spring upon new people and advices ets….places to stay or school for my son, will be of great help.

    Looking to hear from you.

  2. Umer says:

    Thanks so much, will be visting Nigeria very soon for some business..Any additional inputs now since it was posted in 2010 ???

  3. ashok patil says:

    thanks.
    I am working in Nigeria for last five years. I have gone thru’ what you have blog.
    This june my wife and son visiting nigeria for one month.
    And sitution is not improved since then.
    Shall i call my family for visit Nigeria in june ’12 ?

    • Ajay Mishra says:

      Dear Ashok,
      thanks for writing. If you are in Lagos, you can allow your family to visit you. In other parts of Nigeria, situation has still not improved. Visiting for a short period is not a problem. But I believe, if this Government’s inaction continues, Lagos will also become a target in near future.
      Please recommend this blog site to your friend list and continue to visit here.

  4. Escortservice says:

    Hey there.
    I have a client that has asked me to go to Nigeria for a week. This will be my first time traveling out of the country and after reading this I am a bit nervous. I just want to know a little bit about the creatures (terrified of spiders) and what other types of people or things I should worry about and watch for. I understand this was posted awhile ago and would just like an update.
    Thankyou so much 🙂

    • Ajay Mishra says:

      Hi,

      Nothing much has changed in Nigeria. In fact, in Northern part is more un-secured. It depends, which city you are visiting. For first time visitors, I would only suggest to visit Lagos only, and play your travel very well including airport pick-up and drop.

  5. Jeana says:

    I have a question that might be common sense.

    I (black American woman) have a child with a Nigerian man. I didn’t know he was married, his wife was home in Logos. He wanted me to abort, I wouldn’t. My son is four years old, this man never laid eyes on our child, but he has always paid child support (although he fought continuously). Last week at court he apologized for his behavior toward my son and I. Now he wants to know him, and bee father to him. He is asking that I bring my son to Logos Nigeria to meet his family (wife kids, mother siblings ect…. How shady does this sound? Will they kill me and keep my son?

  6. Kumar gaurav says:

    Hi, I have got an opportunity to work with a mnc in katsina, but I am not sure about the security issues, can you kindly update me on this and also advice weather should I take this offer or not

    Thanks

  7. Prathamesh Palve says:

    Hei My business partner would be visiting ibaden in next 10-15 days for business purpose and would be living ther for 3months . could you help me in knowing things such has how are people over there ? how is the security and is it safe ? Any recommendations on safety ?

    • Ajay Mishra says:

      I would suggest to stay at Lagos, unless you have known person at Ibadan. Security concern is always there but you have to take certain precautions. If someone local is accompanying you for Ibadan work, then it will be more convenient for you. Generally people are friendly there but be alert from highway robbers. Avoid travelling in night.

      • Eva says:

        You make nigeria sound like a horrible place.. you do realise in every country there is the good, bad and worse. Lagos and Abuja are not only the safest states in nigeria, there are many other states that are safe and lots of immigrants visit there by themselves and nothing happened to them. My suggestion here is whatever aiport you arrive in Nigeria, look for a custom officer or immigration officer to assist you in getting a taxi to your destination at least thats what i do whenever I visit a country for the first time including Nigeria and nothing happened to me. i was safe and enjoyed my stay during my Visit to Nigeria. Nigeria is getting better its not as bad as people make seem. The only northern place which i think is safe for you to visit is Kano.. Lagos, abuja, Ibadan, Enugu, bayelsa, cross river and so it goes are safe for foreigners. So please stop with the whole Nigeria isn’t safe talk… However France and Turkey isn’t safe due the terrorist attack they have been facing lately but yet we see loads of immigrants still visiting those countries. Give Nigeria a Break please..

  8. ashish says:

    Hi,

    My name is ashis and i am joining in hotel at abuja. is abuja is safe for work ?

    • Ajay Mishra says:

      Abuja and Lagos are 2 safe places than others. However, take your own precautions when venturing out. Many Indians are in Abuja, Socialize with them and take advise.

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