LIVING IN NIGERIA Part III – A journal of time spent in Nigeria

About Robbery incidents and Security aspects for visiting Expatriates

While I am enjoying my stay in Nigeria, moreover in Lagos, there are always some concerns about security for the expatriates here. Time and again, Expatriates are being targeted by robbers either on the highway or at their home. These incidents increase manifold towards the year-end due to Christmas festival and the New Year. People with less means want more money during the festival season hence these robbery incidents increase. Most of the people and even local Nigerians usually take extra precautions and try to avoid unnecessary outings during late in the night and also to remote places.

Robbers of Nigeria target bus and car passengers, taxis, highway travelers waiting at bust stop, small market and even Banks and shop establishments. It is said that these robbers can target any place at their own will and even no security can stop them to attack their target. They dare to come from nowhere in a traffic jam and would point a gun at you and will force you to handover whatever you are having in person. It is always advisable to keep some “extra money” with you always for these robbers otherwise it would be equivalent to inviting them to attack you for no reason. It is said that most of the Companies are paying “Robbers Money” to their expatriate employees so that they can use money to safeguard themselves from these robbers.

I have a friend based in Europe and her job demands her to travel to various parts of Africa. She had been to South Africa several times and she was telling me that Nigeria is much better place than South Africa in terms of safety from highway robbers. In South Africa, 9 out of 10 times, the robbers kill the target after looting them, while in Nigeria; you are having very good chance to survive in 9 out of 10 cases. From the various robbery incidents report that I come across, I find the statement of my friend very realistic. Everyone here says that if you do not argue with them and handover cash and valuable items, they will simply go without harming you or making any noise.

The recent incidents of murder of Anni Dewani in Cape Town, only substantiate above view. The Dewani couple did the mistake of coming out in the night without any escorts and ventured to those areas where expatriates are always advised to resist visiting. A more cautious approach would have prevented this horrific incident in which a life was cut short by scoundrels. While my condolences are for her husband Shrien Dewani, this can be a good lesson for all those who try to find adventures in a simple life.

In most of the pockets of Nigeria, these incidents of robbery are very common. Even a poor man can be a target of his belongings and cash. My driver and house help had become target in the past.  If the expatriates are travelling via road, they are expected to always carry good amount of cash to meet the demand of these robbers. No particular highways are singled out as a target by these robbers. Hence one cannot be sure to be safe on any day.

A lot has been talked about the Nigerian police and their inaction to prevent these robberies. It is said that even Nigerian police can become a robber in the night and use their gun to target passengers. In most of the cases, these are fake policemen. Also, it is said that if Nigerian police are around the place of robbery incidents, they are the first to run away from the spot after removing their uniform. Whatever being said on police inaction, it is true that post incidents, hardly anybody reports the matter to police in Nigeria. It is said that in most of the cases, the police harass the victim even more than the robbers.

So, if you happen to be in Nigeria, my personal advice is that you should always take extra precautions for your own safety. Unnecessary outing and travelling to remote areas in the Night should always be avoided.

Lots of Love


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:

One Response to LIVING IN NIGERIA Part III – A journal of time spent in Nigeria

  1. Prathamesh Palve says:

    After lot of searching i found your blog to be giving sufficient information needed for one to visit nigeria . Very informative articles & nicely written . Thank you for putting all your precious time in drafting all these articles so we could read it and get some information from it !

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