released May 20, 2005, this information is current as of
Thursday, June 02, 2005. Travel
Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends that
Americans avoid a certain country.
This Travel Warning for Nigeria is being issued to update information
on road travel and business scams, and to note concern about the
presence of groups and individuals linked to international terrorism.
The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of the
dangers of travel to the country. This Travel Warning supersedes
the Travel Warning issued July 19, 2004.
The lack of law and order in Nigeria poses considerable risks
to travelers. Violent crime committed by ordinary criminals, as
well as by persons in police and military uniforms, can occur throughout
the country. Kidnapping for ransom of persons associated with the
petroleum sector, including U.S. citizens, remains common in the
Niger Delta area. Religious tension between some Muslim and Christian
communities results in occasional acts of isolated communal violence
that could erupt quickly and without warning. The states of Kano
and Kaduna are particularly volatile. Rival ethnic groups have
clashed violently in the Niger Delta region around Warri city and
in Southeast Plateau State. Senior al-Qaida leadership has expressed
interest publically in overthrowing the government of Nigeria.
Links also were uncovered connecting Nigerians to al-Qaida in 2004.
Periodically, travel by U.S. mission personnel is restricted based
on changing security conditions, often due to general strike or
student/political demonstrations. U.S. citizens should contact
the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos
for up-to-date information on these restrictions. (See below for
Road travel is dangerous. Robberies by armed gangs have been reported
on rural roads and within major cities. Travelers should avoid
driving at night. Because of poor vehicle maintenance and driving
conditions, public transportation throughout Nigeria can be dangerous
and should be avoided. Taxis pose risks because of the possibility
of fraudulent or criminal operators, old and unsafe vehicles, and
poorly maintained roads. Road travel in Lagos is banned between
7:00 and 10:00 AM on the last Saturday of every month for municipal
road cleanup; police vigilantly enforce the ban.
Most Nigerian airlines have aging fleets, and maintenance and
operational procedures may be inadequate to ensure passenger safety.
criminals conduct advance fee fraud and other scams that target
foreigners worldwide. These fraudulent activities
pose great risk of financial loss. Recipients traveling to Nigeria
to pursue such fraudulent offers have been subject to physical
harm, and local police authorities are often unwilling to help
in such cases. No one should provide personal financial or account
information to unknown parties. Under no circumstances should U.S.
citizens travel to Nigeria without a valid visa -- an invitation
to enter Nigeria without a visa is normally indicative of illegal
activity. Furthermore, the ability of U.S. Embassy officers to
extricate U.S. citizens from unlawful business deals and their
consequences is limited. Persons contemplating business deals in
Nigeria are strongly urged to check with the U.S. Department of
Commerce or the U.S. Department of State before providing any information
or making any financial commitments. See the Department of State's
publications “Tips for Business Travelers to Nigeria” at
Advanced Fee Fraud” at http://www.state.gov/www/regions/africa/naffpub.pdf
and “Advanced Fee Business Scams” at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/brochures/brochures
who travel to or reside in Nigeria despite this Travel Warning
advised to register through the State
Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov.
Americans without Internet access may register directly with the
nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens
make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in
case of emergency. The U.S. embassy in Nigeria can be contacted
by phone at (9) 523-0916. American citizens may contact the
U.S. Consulate General in Lagos at 011 (1) 261-1215 during
business hours. For after-hours emergencies call  (1) 261-1
414, 261-0195, 261-0 078, 261-0139, or 26 1-6477; website: http://nigeria.usembassy.gov.
U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's most
recent Consular Information Sheet for Nigeria, the Department's
brochure, Tips for Business Travelers to Nigeria, and the Worldwide
Caution Public Announcement, which are located on the Department's
Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov. Up-to-date information
on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747
toll free in the U.S., or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada,
a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available
from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday
(except U.S. federal holidays).
to Travel Warnings Reference Section
to Destinations Main Reference Category
Return to NEWSdial.com