Nigeria Register Travel insurance Destinations
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Latest updates: Safety and security: update on election dates
Nigeria - AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL
Avoid non-essential travel to Nigeria, with a few exceptions (see below). The security situation throughout the country is unpredictable, and there is a significant risk of terrorism, crime, inter-communal clashes, armed attacks and kidnappings.
Regional risk level - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to the following regions:
- the northern and Middle Belt states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau and Yobe, due to the high risk of terrorism, inter-communal violence and kidnapping
- the Niger Delta states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo and Rivers (with the exception of Rivers’ capital city, Port Harcourt, where we advise against non-essential travel), due to the unstable security situation and the heightened risk of kidnapping
Abuja, Calabar and Lagos - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in the cities of Abuja, Calabar and Lagos due to the incidence of crime.
Travel Health Notice - Zika virus
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Nigeria. See Health for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Elections and demonstrations
Presidential and national assembly elections are due to take place on February 23, 2019. Gubernatorial and state assembly elections are due to take place on March 9, 2019. Demonstrations could occur before, during and after the elections.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. Potential curfews, traffic restrictions and roadblocks could lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation over the February 23 and 24, 2019 weekend and again on March 9 and 10, 2019.
- Contact your airline or travel agent before travelling to check your flight’s schedule and availability
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Don’t attempt to cross roadblocks, even if they appear unattended
- Plan to have adequate water and food supplies in the event that main supply points are temporarily inaccessible
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Northern states of Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano and Yobe, and Middle Belt states of Bauchi and Plateau
There is a threat of terrorism in the northern states of Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano and Yobe, where the extremist group Boko Haram is based. Boko Haram-attributed attacks, which regularly result in significant loss of life and injuries, increased across the north in 2014 but such incidents outside of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe have declined since 2015. These attacks, at times taking the form of explosions, have taken place in busy public areas, including places of worship.
A state of emergency is in effect in the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. Additional security personnel have been deployed to these states.
Curfews are in effect in Maiduguri and may be imposed in other cities in northern Nigeria, and are subject to change on short notice.
There is a risk of kidnapping in some northern states of Nigeria.
The states of Kaduna and Plateau are affected by sporadic episodes of inter-communal violence.
The borders with Niger, Chad and Cameroon could be closed on short notice.
Niger Delta states
The security situation in the Niger Delta region is fragile and unstable, particularly in the states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers (except in Port Harcourt, where we advise against non-essential travel). Regional and ethnic conflicts between militant groups occur in the area and have led to unrest and violence in the past. Militant activity has also been directed at foreign interests. Armed groups have carried out successful attacks on oil facilities and workers, resulting in injuries and deaths. Such attacks have been on the rise since the beginning of 2017. Incidents of armed robbery have also increased. Kidnapping occurs in the Niger Delta states.
If you choose to remain in the Niger Delta states despite this advisory, be extremely vigilant at all times. If travelling for business, ensure that meetings are held at a secure location and that your contact is known to you. Seek the advice of local authorities when planning trips and leave a detailed itinerary with family or friends.
Piracy is an ongoing threat in the Niger Delta states. Incidents of piracy, including attacks, kidnappings, hostage takings and ship hijackings, are very common in this extremely volatile area. You should avoid riverine and shoreline areas at all times. Insurgents in speedboats and equipped with high-calibre weapons operate along the coastal waters in the region. For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.
Abuja, Calabar and Lagos
Exercise a high degree of caution in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory and in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, where the security situation is more stable and facilities are relatively well developed compared to the rest of the country. Avoid non-essential travel to the rest of Cross River State, including the outskirts of Calabar, where seven people, mostly foreigners, were kidnapped in June 2016.
Exercise a high degree of caution in the city of Lagos, specifically within the area covering Ikeja in the north down to Lagos Island, Victoria Island and Ikoyi, and from Mile Two (west end of Lagos) to Chevron Estate on the Lekki Peninsula (east end of Lagos). Avoid non-essential travel beyond this area (see Advisory). The level of criminality in Lagos is high and incidents of violent crime, including assaults and armed attacks, have occurred against foreign nationals and in areas frequented by foreigners. Avoid all unnecessary travel after dark.
If you decide to travel to these cities you should stay in secure, guarded accommodations and maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times.
There is a high level of crime throughout Nigeria, including armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom,and violent assault. Criminal activity is high in urban areas, including the city of Lagos. Robberies and muggings conducted by large, well-armed groups, in places frequented by expatriates, are common. Some have been committed by persons posing as police or military personnel.
Use caution when travelling to and from banks and be particularly discreet when using automated banking machines, as criminals could follow you to rob you.
House robberies are on the rise in Abuja, and remain a serious concern in residential areas of Lagos.
Petty crime is common in crowded places, especially in public markets, as well as popular tourist sites. Should you visit the beach, particularly around Victoria Island (Lekki and Bar beaches),or sign up for a fishing excursion, do so only during daylight and in large groups.
Incidents of armed carjacking occur along main roads throughout the country but are of particular concern on the roads leading to international and domestic airports, on main highways between state capitals and in main cities, including Lagos and Abuja. Many strategies are used to stop cars on the road, such as nails being scattered on the road or individuals, including pregnant women, pretending to be injured.
Police checkpoints are very frequent on roads throughout the country. Abuse to extort bribes is common by some law-enforcement officers, armed gangs and others. This is a recurring security problem, especially along Nigeria’s borders. If you need assistance, you may contact the High Commission of Canada in Abuja or the Deputy High Commission in Lagos.
Kidnappings of foreign and Nigerian nationals occur throughout Nigeria. They are a particular threat in North, North-East and Southern Nigeria.
Kidnappings for ransom targeting Westerners have increased in the affluent areas of Lagos and the surrounding states of Ogun, Osun and Ondo. Throughout the Niger Delta states, numerous Westerners, mainly oil and gas facility workers, have been abducted, and, in some cases, killed. Remain especially vigilant in Warri, Delta state. In Port Harcourt, Rivers state, you should avoid going to public places frequented by expatriates, including bars and restaurants, and avoid the waterfront at all times. The states of Abia, Anambra and Imo are at risk for kidnappings for ransom as well as violent acts. Recent events have demonstrated that attacks, often perpetrated by small groups of armed individuals, are indiscriminate. Residents and foreigners alike have been abducted and held captive, sometimes for days, until ransom was paid. Deaths have also been reported.
Numerous mass kidnappings in the North and North-East have been linked to Boko Haram. Nigerian nationals are usually the target in these incidents.
There is a threat of terrorism, particularly in the northern and northeastern area of the country; however, attacks have been conducted elsewhere, including in Abuja. Further attacks are likely.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places. Be particularly vigilant if attending sporting events and during religious holidays and other public celebrations, as terrorists have used such occasions to mount attacks.
Stay at hotels that have robust security measures, including metal detectors, guards and security cameras. Keep in mind, however, that even the most secure locations cannot be considered completely free of risk.
Nigerian authorities impose curfews as a means to restoring order after violence erupts in volatile areas. Curfews are currently in effect for the cities of Gusau in Samsara State; Kano, Kano; Maiduguri, Borno; Minna, Niger; Potiskum, Yobe; and Yola and Mubi, Adamawa. Respect curfew orders.
Across Nigeria, roads are generally in poor condition and lack adequate lighting. Excessive speeds and unpredictable driving habits pose hazards. Avoid travel after dark, unless it is essential. Road accidents pose a serious risk and you should exercise great caution, especially when travelling on highways and outside major urban areas.
Rental cars are available in Nigeria, but you should avoid them. Major hotels and the customer service centres at the airports in Abuja, Kano and Lagos offer reliable car-hire services complete with drivers.
Arrange to arrive at the airport during the day and be met there by reliable contacts. Be extremely cautious when travelling to and from the airport. If transportation is not arranged by hosts or the hotel, hire cars and drivers from reputable security providers. Drivers should be experienced, have local knowledge and be familiar with alternative routes. All arrangements should be made prior to your arrival in Nigeria. When arranging to hire a car and driver, be sure to agree on a price and all details before accepting.
You should not use public transportation due to the risk of petty theft and armed attacks. Passengers in taxis have been driven to secluded areas to be attacked and robbed. If you must use a taxi, verify that nobody is hiding in the trunk before entering the vehicle. Locals have been known to hide in the trunk and then emerge through the back seat once the taxi is in motion to rob the passenger.
Motorbike taxis, known in Nigeria as “okadas,” are a typical form of public transportation in many cities and are dangerous to motorists, their own passengers and pedestrians. In several cities, okada drivers and passengers are required to wear helmets.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Criminals have posed as bogus greeters at the airport. Several incidents of armed robbery resulting in deaths have occurred at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
During the dry season, the Harmattan wind leads to high amounts of sand and dust in the air. Air travel within Nigeria can sometimes be restricted due to limited visibility. Occasionally, flights must be rerouted from their original destinations.
Cases of attempted fraud are common. See Overseas Fraud for more information on scams abroad.
Coastal waters can be dangerous. Riptides are common. Several drownings occur each year. Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities.
General safety information
Carry photocopies of your official identification at all times and safely store passports, visas and travel documents.
Be discreet; avoid walking alone and displaying any signs of affluence in public. Valuables or bags should not be left unattended.
The country experiences regular fuel shortages. Monitor local media for indicators of the circumstances that precede fuel shortages, and ensure that you have adequate supplies on hand.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Nigerian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date you expect to leave Nigeria.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Canadians must have a visa to visit Nigeria.
Tourist/visitor/transit visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Employment visa: Required
Temporary work permit: Required
Student visa: Required
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Outbreaks of measles are ongoing.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can cause serious complications for some people.
You are at increased risk of measles infection if you have not had the illness or if you are not up to date on your vaccinations.
This country is in the African Meningitis Belt, an area where there are many cases of meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease is a serious and sometimes fatal infection. Travellers who may be at high risk should consider getting vaccinated. High-risk travellers include those living or working with the local population (e.g., health care workers) or those travelling to crowded areas or taking part in large gatherings.
Polio *Proof of vaccination*
- Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up to date.
- One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.
Proof of vaccination:
If you are staying more than 4 weeks in this country, you may have to show proof of polio vaccination when you leave the country.
Make sure that the polio vaccination is documented on the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. This is the only document accepted as proof of vaccination. They are provided at Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres.
Carry the certificate as proof of vaccination.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is recommended.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in West Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in West Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.
For protection of cholera
All travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.
Travellers at higher risk should discuss with a health care professional the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Travellers at higher risk include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring.
Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in West Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus, yellow fever and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, is caused by filariae (tiny worms) spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can cause a range of illnesses. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for lymphatic filariasis although drug treatments exist.
Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly. Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common close to fast-flowing rivers and streams. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.
Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:
- Should avoid travel to this country.
- If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
- Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
- Use condoms correctly or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
- Female travellers: wait at least 2 months after returning from this country or after onset of illness due to Zika (whichever is longer) before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
- Male travellers: wait 3 months after returning from this country or after onset of illness due to Zika (whichever is longer) before trying to conceive. Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.
See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
- There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- See a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in West Africa, like avian influenza, Ebola, Lassa fever, and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
There have been human cases of avian influenza in this country.
Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds. In rare cases, it can infect people.
- avoid high risk areas such as poultry farms and live animal markets
- avoid areas where poultry may be slaughtered
- avoid contact with birds (alive or dead)
- avoid surfaces that may have bird droppings or secretions on them
- ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs, are well cooked
There is currently an outbreak of Lassa fever in this country.
Lassa fever is caused by a virus carried by rodents. Humans get sick when they inhale or come into close contact with feces, saliva, or urine of infected rodents or the blood or bodily fluids of infected humans.
Camping, forestry work, or other outdoor activities can put travellers at a higher risk.
Lassa virus can be very serious. Avoid rodents and rodent-infested areas.
There is currently an outbreak of monkeypox in this country. It is a viral disease that can cause serious illness.
Monkeypox is mainly spread to humans through direct contact with:
- infected animals (mainly African rodents and non-human primates), by bite, scratch, or contact with their body fluids
Human to human spread is not common but can occur through:
- direct contact with the skin lesions or scabs of an infected person or materials contaminated by their lesions (such as bedding and clothing)
- prolonged contact with a coughing or sneezing person with a rash due to monkeypox
Risk is generally low for most travellers. Wash your hands frequently and avoid contact with potentially infected animals and people.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Medical facilities and care are basic in major cities and limited outside urban centres.
Make sure you have travel insurance that covers all medical expenses, including hospitalization abroad and medical evacuation, in case of illness or injury.
Learn more about travel health and safety.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), use discretion when drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2019, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around May 5.
Restricted and illegal activities
The use of illicit drugs is prohibited.
In Abuja, smoking is banned in public places.
It is illegal to import:
- beer, mineral water, soft drinks or sparkling wine
- fruits, vegetables, cereals or eggs
- fabrics, including mosquito netting
- jewellery and precious metals
It is illegal to export pieces of African art, particularly antiques, without written authorization from the Department of Antiquities. Contact the High Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Ottawa for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Photography of airports, government buildings and military installations is prohibited.
An International Driving Permit or a Canadian Driver’s permit can be used for 2 months. After that you must obtain a Nigerian driving permit.
Learn more about the International Driving Permit
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Nigeria.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Nigeria, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
The laws of Nigeria prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Convicted offenders can face up to 14 years in prison. Any person who “registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies or organisations” or anyone who makes “a public display of same sex amorous relationship” may face a prison sentence of up to 10 years. Furthermore, anyone who witnesses or abets any of these acts is also liable to a 10-year sentence. In certain northern states where Islamic law (Sharia) is applied, penalties can include the death sentence.
LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Nigeria.
Cross-dressing is prohibited and punishable under the Prostitution and Immoral Acts Law.
Islamic practices and beliefs are closely adhered to in Nigeria’s customs, laws and regulations. Sharia has been adopted in 12 northern states (Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara). Exercise common sense and discretion in behaviour, and dress conservatively. In the north, women are advised to keep their legs covered and travel with a scarf that can be used to cover their head and arms when required.
The Sharia penal code may be applicable to non-Muslims in some parts of the country. Transgressions could be punished by detention or other penalties.
The economy of Nigeria is cash-based. The currency is the naira (NGN). U.S. dollars are widely accepted. Credit cards are accepted at some major hotels in Abuja and Lagos; however, you are strongly advised against the use of credit cards and debit cards, due to the high potential for fraud and other criminal activity. Traveller’s cheques are very difficult to cash in Nigeria. The exportation of naira is limited by law to certain amounts.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
The rainy season extends from May to October. During this period, rainfall is abundant and may result in localized flash flooding. Roads may become impassable in affected areas.
In summer, central and northern Nigeria periodically experience heat waves. During the dry season, from November to April, harmattan winds bring sand and dust from the Sahara desert.
Keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
There is no centralized number to reach emergency services. Research and carry contact information for local police and medical facilities.
Abuja - High Commission of Canada
Lagos - Deputy High Commission of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in Abuja and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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