International Travel and COVID-19
- be sure to get vaccinated, and complete any additional recommended doses, at least 14 days before your departure
- review the travel health notice for COVID-19 and International Travel
If you have not completed a COVID-19 vaccine series, you should continue to avoid non-essential travel to all destinations.
Nigeria Travel Advice
Latest updates: Safety and security: avoid walking and hiking in forested areas in and around Abuja due to ongoing counter-terrorism operations & update on the increase in violent crime in the outer suburbs of Abuja and the Federal Capital territory.
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On this page
- Risk level
- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
- Laws and culture
- Natural disasters and climate
- Need help?
Nigeria - AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL
Avoid non-essential travel to Nigeria due to the unpredictable security situation throughout the country and the 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 due to the risk of terrorism, armed attacks, kidnapping, intercommunal and sectarian violence:
- the north-western states of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara
- the north-central state of Plateau
- the north-eastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa and Yobe
- the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo and Rivers (with the exception of Rivers’ capital city, Port Harcourt, where we advise against non-essential travel)
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.
Safety and security
COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions
COVID-19 preventative measures and restrictions are still in effect in some destinations.
These could include:
- curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
- mandatory mask use
- required proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces
Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are still in effect.
Nigerian authorities are conducting counter-terrorism operations in forested areas in and around Abuja, and in the Federal Capital territory. Avoid walking and hiking in these areas.
Northwestern and Northeastern states
There is a threat of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping in the following northwestern and northeastern states:
Bandit groups are increasingly active in the northwest, including in Kaduna state. Violent attacks involving gunfire and explosives, as well as kidnappings, are frequent. They have targeted:
- transportation hubs and networks
- local communities
A state of emergency has been in effect since 2013 in the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe to account for the increase in incidents of terrorism in the area. Additional security personnel have been deployed to these states. Curfews are also in effect in cities across these states and in Maiduguri. Other curfews could be imposed in other cities in northern Nigeria or could change on short notice.
Local authorities could also interrupt telecommunication services in the northeastern states without notice and for indeterminate periods of time. Neighbouring states could also be affected by these service disruptions.
States of Plateau and Taraba
The states of Plateau and of Taraba are affected by sporadic episodes of inter-communal and sectarian violence. Since early 2022, there has been an increase in violent incidents, including bomb attacks which resulted in a large number of casualties. There has also been an increase in kidnapping cases in Plateau State. Further attacks and kidnappings are likely.
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 higher incidents of violent crime and civil unrest. Armed robbery and kidnapping pose a significant threat in the Niger Delta states. 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.
- 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. Pirate attacks, armed robbery against ships, ship hijackings, kidnappings and hostage takings occur in coastal waters in the Gulf of Guinea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions. If you are on land, avoid shoreline areas at all times.
Insurgents in speedboats and equipped with high-calibre weapons pose a risk.
Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre
Abuja, Calabar and Lagos
Exercise a high degree of caution in Abuja 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. 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.
Carry photocopies of your official identification at all times and safely store passports, visas and travel documents.
There is a high level of crime throughout Nigeria, including armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom, home invasions, carjacking and violent assault. 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, particularly in the Niger Delta.
Criminal activity is high in urban areas, including the city of Lagos, as well as on the northern border with Niger and Chad.
There has been an increase in violent crime in the outer suburbs of Abuja and the Federal Capital territory since mid-2022.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs, particularly in crowded places such as public markets and popular tourist sites.
- Ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- Avoid walking alone and displaying any signs of affluence in public
- Avoid all unnecessary travel after dark, when crime increases
- Do not leave valuables or bags unattended
- Use caution when travelling to and from banks
- Be particularly discreet when using ATM’s, as criminals could follow you to rob you
- Should you visit a beach, particularly Lekki and Bar beaches on Victoria Island do so only during daylight and in large groups
- Be wary of tourist excursions. Sign up with a reputable tour company
Kidnappings of foreign and Nigerian nationals occur throughout Nigeria. They are a particular threat in North, North-East and Southern Nigeria.
Since April 2019, several kidnappings have occurred. Those crimes, 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.
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
- the states of Abia, Anambra and Imo
Kidnappings for ransom targeting Westerners have increased in the affluent areas of Lagos and the surrounding states of Ogun, Osun and Ondo.
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. Numerous attacks on individuals, groups and security forces, occurred since 2018. 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.
Police checkpoints are very frequent on roads throughout the country. Law- enforcement officers and gangs often use aggressive methods to extort bribes. 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.
Nigerian authorities impose curfews as a means to restoring order after violence erupts in volatile areas. Curfews are currently in effect for parts of Maiduguri, Adamawa State, Borno State and Yobe State. Curfews and restrictions on the movement of vehicles, can be imposed, amended and lifted at short notice throughout Nigeria.
Demonstrations occur frequently especially in central Abuja and in other major cities. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Road conditions and road safety are poor throughout the country. Drivers often drive at excessive speeds, and accidents are common. Visibility is poor due to lack of adequate lighting.
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.
Be extremely cautious when travelling to and from the airport. All arrangements should be made prior to your arrival in Nigeria.
- Arrange to arrive at the airport during the day and be met there by reliable contacts.
- If transportation is not arranged by hosts or the hotel, hire cars and drivers from reputable security providers.
- When arranging to hire a car and driver, be sure to agree on a price and all details before accepting.
Incidents of armed carjacking occur along main roads throughout the country, however they are of particular concern on:
- the roads leading to international and domestic airport
- on main highways between state capitals
- 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.
Do not drive at night, especially outside of major cities, due to the increased likelihood of armed banditry and kidnapping. Criminals often target travellers along major transit routes such as the Abuja - Kaduna highway.
Keep windows closed and doors locked at all times.
You should not use public transportation due to the risk of petty theft and armed attacks.
It has occurred that thieves hide in the trunk and emerge through the back seat once the taxi is in motion and rob the passenger.
- Exercise caution when using taxis
- If you must use a taxi, verify that you are the only one in the vehicle
- Motorbike taxis, known in Nigeria as “okadas,” are dangerous. 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.
There have been several incidents of armed robbery at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. Some of these cases have resulted in death.
- Confirm your transportation arrangements prior to your arrival.
- Be wary of criminals posing as greeters at the airport
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.
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Coastal waters can be dangerous. Riptides are common. Several drownings occur each year. Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities.
General safety information
The country experiences regular fuel shortages.
- Monitor local media for indicators of the circumstances that precede fuel shortages
- Ensure that you have adequate supplies on hand
Entry and exit requirements
COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements
Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19. These measures can be imposed suddenly and may include:
- entry or exit bans
- mandatory proof of vaccination or COVID-19 testing
- suspensions or reductions of international transportation options
Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.
- verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation
- consider even your transit points, as there are transit rules in place in many destinations
- monitor the media for the latest information
- reconfirm the requirements with your airline or tour operator
The situation could disrupt your travel plans. You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.
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 the Foreign Representatives 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.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
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 foreign representative 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
The duration of stay indicated on the visa issued by Nigerian authorities and the duration of stay permitted indicated on the entry stamp issued by the Nigeria Immigration Service on arrival in the country might differ. Be sure to check the dates indicated on the entry stamp immediately after issuance. The dates might be hand-written by the issuing immigration officer or embedded in the stamp. If hard to read, ask for clarification from the immigration officer at the port of entry or a Nigeria Immigration Service office.
You may be subject to a quick thermal scanner screening at the airports upon boarding or disembarking a plane.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
The borders with Niger, Chad and Cameroon could be closed on short notice.
The land border crossing linking Seme Border to Sèmè-Kpodji in Benin is only open between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
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.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines are right for you.
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 or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is recommended.
- Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
* 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.
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.
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).
Polio - Proof of vaccination required
- Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up to date.
- One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended for adults.
Proof of vaccination:
If you are staying more than 4 weeks in this country, you may need 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. In Canada, they are provided at Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres.
Carry the certificate as proof of vaccination.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air..
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
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.
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.
- 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 provider 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.
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.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
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.
To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.
Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring
Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.
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 of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
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.
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 a risk of chikungunya in this country. The risk may vary between regions of a 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.
- In this country, risk of dengue is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
- 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 is a risk in this country.
Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.
Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to this country. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to this country.
- Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
- If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to this country for the duration of your pregnancy.
- Women: Wait 2 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
- Men: Wait 3 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.
For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
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, 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.
Lassa virus can be very serious. Avoid rodents and rodent-infested areas.
Monkeypox is a risk in this country. It is a viral disease that can cause serious illness in some circumstances. Risk is generally low for most travellers.
Monkeypox spreads in 3 ways:
- from animals to humans through direct contact such as a bite or scratch, or by eating or preparing undercooked meat of infected animals or coming into contact with an infected animal's body fluids
- from person to person through close contact, including direct contact with the skin lesions, blood, body fluids, or mucosal surfaces (such as eyes, mouth, throat, genitalia, anus, or rectum) of an infected person
- through direct contact with contaminated objects such as bedding and towels, or by sharing personal objects used by an infected person
Follow recommended public health measures and avoid contact with animals such as rodents and primates to help prevent getting or spreading the infection
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.
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.
Medical services and facilities
COVID-19 - Testing facilities
Consult the following links to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test:
- Local COVID-19 testing facilities - Nigeria Centre for Disease Control
Good health care is limited in availability. Quality of care varies greatly throughout the country.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Laws and 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.
Islamic practices and beliefs are closely adhered to in Nigeria’s customs, laws and regulations. Sharia has been adopted in 12 northern states:
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.
To avoid offending local sensitivities:
- 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.
- behave discreetly
- respect religious and social traditions
In 2023, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 22.
In public, between sunrise and sunset, be discreet when :
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines.
In Abuja, smoking is banned in public places.
Nigerian criminal law prohibits consensual sexual relations between individuals of the same sex. Additionally, the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act provides for lengthy jail sentences for offences related to entering into same-sex marriages or civil unions, display of same-sex amorous relationships, and participating in LGBTQ2 organisations. In certain Northern states where Sharia Law is in effect, penalties can include the death sentence.
Discrimination, violence and harassment against LGBTQ2 individuals are frequently reported.
LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Nigeria.
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.
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Nigeria.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Nigeria by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in Nigeria to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
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.
The currency is the naira (NGN). U.S. dollars are widely accepted. The economy of Nigeria is cash-based. 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. The exportation of naira is limited by law to certain amounts.
Natural disasters and climate
The rainy season extends from May to October. During this period, rainfall is abundant and may result in localized flash flooding. Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.
- Keep informed of regional weather forecasts
- Avoid the affected areas
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
In the 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.
Ambulance - 112 or 199
Fire - 112 or 199
Police - 112 or 199
Research and carry contact information for local police and medical facilities.
Port Harcourt - Consulate of Canada
Lagos - Deputy High Commission of Canada
Abuja - High Commission of Canada
Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and PrincipeAppointment Book your appointment online
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, expressed 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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