Nigeria travel advice

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Risk level

Nigeria - AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL

Avoid non-essential travel to Nigeria, including in Abuja, 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, inter-communal and sectarian violence:

  • the north-western states of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara
  • the north-central states of Plateau and Kogi
  • 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)

 

Calabar and Lagos - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in the cities of Calabar and Lagos due to the incidence of crime.

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Safety and security

Violence at banks and ATMs

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has designed and issued new Naira notes, resulting in a cash shortage across the country, especially in rural areas. Banks and ATMs are having problems supplying both the new and old notes to the general public, causing long line-ups to withdraw cash. Cash shortages could affect your ability to pay for goods and services, as credit/debit cards are not widely accepted outside of urban centres. Violence has broken out as a result of public frustration. Protesters have blocked roads and attacked ATMs and banks.

If you decide to go to a bank or ATM:

  • be prepared for long line-ups and cash shortages
  • do so during daylight hours
  • monitor local media for information on violence or protests
  • proceed with increased caution

If you are in Nigeria:

  • refer to CBN guidelines and plan accordingly
  • ensure that you have adequate supplies of consumer goods as purchasing may be difficult
  • confirm that old naira notes or credit/debit cards are accepted before entering into a transaction

Northwestern and Northeastern states

There is a threat of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping in the following northwestern and northeastern states:

  • Adamawa
  • Bauchi
  • Borno
  • Gombe
  • Jigawa
  • Kaduna
  • Kano
  • Katsina
  • Sokoto
  • Zamfara
  • Yobe

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:

  • motorists
  • 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

Calabar and Lagos

Exercise a high degree of caution 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.

Identification

Carry photocopies of your official identification at all times and safely store passports, visas and travel documents.

Crime

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

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

Kidnapping

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.

Terrorism

Terrorism threat in Abuja

There is an increased threat of terrorist attacks in Abuja.

Nigerian authorities are conducting counter-terrorism operations in forested areas in and around Abuja, and in the Federal Capital territory.

  • Be extremely vigilant
  • Limit your movements
  • Avoid walking and hiking forested areas
  • Exercise caution and keep a low profile
  • Monitor local media to stay informed on the evolving situation
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities

There is a threat of terrorism throughout Nigeria, particularly in the northern and northeastern areas of the country. Attacks have been conducted across the country, including in Abuja. Numerous attacks on individuals, groups and security forces have 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 attack.

Checkpoints

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.

Curfews

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

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

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Road safety

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

Carjacking

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.

Fraud

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

Overseas fraud

Fuel shortages

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

Public transportation

You should not use public transportation due to the risk of petty theft and armed attacks.

Taxis

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

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.

Swimming

Coastal waters can be dangerous. Riptides are common. Several drownings occur each year. Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities.

Water safety abroad

Piracy

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

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

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Entry and exit requirements

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.

Passport

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.

Official travel

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.

Useful links

Visas

Tourist visa: required
Business visa: required
Employment visa: required
Temporary work permit: required
Student visa: required
Transit 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.

Nigeria Immigration Service 

Borders

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.

Health screening

You may be subject to a quick thermal scanner screening at the airports upon boarding or disembarking a plane.

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations 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 may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

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.

Risk

  • 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

Recommendation

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.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

 

Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Malaria

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.

Malaria is a risk to travellers to this destination.
 
Antimalarial medication is recommended for most travellers to this destination and should be taken as recommended. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving. 
 
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times: 

  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.
  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
  • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.
  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing. 

 If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

Influenza

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Rabies

In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Polio

Polio (poliomyelitis) is an infectious disease that can be prevented by vaccination. It is caused by poliovirus type 1, 2 or 3. Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus 2 (cVDPV2) is present in this country.
Polio is spread from person to person and through contaminated food and water. Infection with the polio virus can cause paralysis and death in individuals of any age who are not immune.

Recommendations:

  • Be sure that your polio vaccinations are up to date before travelling. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
  • One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.
Measles

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.

Meningococcal disease

This destination is in the African Meningitis Belt, an area which has the highest rates of meningococcal disease in the world. Meningococcal disease is a serious and sometimes fatal infection. 

Travellers who are at higher risk should discuss vaccination with a health care provider. 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

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

COVID-19

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.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Cholera

Risk

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

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

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

There is a risk of schistosomiasis in this destination. Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by tiny worms (blood flukes) which can be found in freshwater (lakes, rivers, ponds, and wetlands). The worms can break the skin, and their eggs can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, or urinary problems. Schistosomiasis mostly affects underdeveloped and rural communities, particularly agricultural and fishing communities.

Most travellers are at low risk. Travellers should avoid contact with untreated freshwater such as lakes, rivers, and ponds (e.g., swimming, bathing, wading, ingesting). There is no vaccine or medication available to prevent infection.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Chikungunya

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.

Dengue
  • 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.
Zika virus

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.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Lymphatic filariasis

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.

Onchoceriasis

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.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Avian Influenza

Human cases of avian influenza have been reported in this destination. Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds and in rare cases it can infect mammals, including people. The risk is low for most travellers.

Avoid contact with birds, including wild, farm, and backyard birds (alive or dead) and surfaces that may have bird droppings on them. Ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs and wild game, are properly cooked.

Travellers with a higher risk of exposure include those: 

  • visiting live bird/animal markets or poultry farms
  • working with poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, domestic ducks)
  • hunting, de-feathering, field dressing and butchering wild birds and wild mammals
  • working with wild birds for activities such as research, conservation, or rehabilitation
  • working with wild mammals, especially those that eat wild birds (e.g., foxes)

All eligible people are encouraged to get the seasonal influenza shot, which will protect them against human influenza viruses. While the seasonal influenza shot does not prevent infection with avian influenza, it can reduce the chance of getting sick with human and avian influenza viruses at the same time.

Lassa fever

Lassa fever is a risk 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.

Mpox

Mpox (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.

Mpox spreads in 3 ways:

  • from animals to humans through direct contact 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.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Tuberculosis

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

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

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.

Travel health and safety

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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.

Sharia

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
  • Zamfara

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.

Drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Ramadan

In 2024, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 10.

In public, between sunrise and sunset, be discreet when:

  • drinking
  • eating
  • smoking

Dress and behaviour

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

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

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 2SLGBTQI+ organisations. In certain Northern states where Sharia Law is in effect, penalties can include the death sentence.

Discrimination, violence and harassment against 2SLGBTQI+ individuals are frequently reported.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Nigeria.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

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.

Travellers with dual citizenship

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.

Useful links

Imports

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

Exports

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

Photography of airports, government buildings and military installations is prohibited.

Smoking

In Abuja, smoking is banned in public places.

Driving

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.

International Driving Permit

Money

New bank notes

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has redesigned and issued new Naira notes. Old Naira notes will remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.

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.

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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.

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

Ambulance - 112 or 199

Fire - 112 or 199

Police - 112 or 199

Research and carry contact information for local police and medical facilities.

Consular assistance

The High Commission of Canada to Nigeria, in Abuja, is closed until further notice.

If you require urgent in-person consular assistance, limited services are available temporarily at the British High Commission, in Abuja.

For emergency consular assistance, call the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Port Harcourt - Honorary consul of Canada
Street Address15 Ahoada Street, Rumuibekwe Housing Estate, Port HarcourtTelephone+234 (806) 399 7054Emailport-harcourt@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-NigeriaFacebookHigh Commission of Canada to NigeriaTwitter@CanHCNigeria
Lagos - Deputy High Commission of Canada
Street Address4 Anifowoshe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, NigeriaTelephone+234 (1) 271 5665Fax+234 (1) 271 5651Emaillagosconsular-consulaire@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-NigeriaFacebookHigh Commission of Canada to NigeriaTwitter@CanHCNigeriaAppointment Book your appointment online
Abuja - High Commission of Canada
Street Address13010G, Palm close, Diplomatic drive, Central Business District, Abuja, NigeriaPostal AddressP.O. Box 5144, Abuja, NigeriaTelephone+234 (209) 461 2900Fax+234 (209) 461 2901Emailabuja@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-NigeriaFacebookHigh Commission of Canada to NigeriaTwitter@CanHCNigeriaConsular district

Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe

Appointment Book your appointment online

Disclaimer

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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