Nigeria Register Travel insurance Destinations

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Risk level(s)

Risk level(s)

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)

Safety and security situation

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

Safety and security

Border crossing

The land border crossing linking Seme Border to Sèmè-Kpodji in Benin is only open between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. until further notice.

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation

North-western states of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara and North-eastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa and Yobe

There is a threat of terrorism in the north-western and north-eastern states. A state of emergency has been in effect since 2013 in the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe to account for the rising incidents of terrorism in the area. Additional security personnel have been deployed to these states. Curfews have also been imposed in cities across the 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 also a risk of kidnapping in some northern states of Nigeria.

Risk level(s)

North-central state of Plateau

The state of Plateau is affected by sporadic episodes of inter-communal and sectarian violence.

Risk level(s)

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

Risk level(s)

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’s Piracy Reporting Centre

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. 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.

Risk level(s)

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. Criminal activity is high in urban areas, including the city of Lagos, as well as on the northern border with Niger and Chad. 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.

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
  • 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

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.

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

There is a risk of heightened tensions across the country, specifically in Abuja and Kaduna. Regular protests have taken place in central Abuja and other cities since July 2019 and they are expected to continue in August. These protests may turn violent.

Demonstrations may occur. Since January 2018, there have been regular protests in central Abuja and other cities. These protests, particularly in Abuja, have the potential to turn violent. On 22 July 2019, violent protests in Abuja resulted in a number of deaths, including a police officer and a journalist. Tensions continue to be high. Protests are also likely to continue in Lagos, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Zaria. 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

More about 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.

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

Air travel

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

General information about foreign domestic airlines

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.

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

More about overseas fraud

Swimming

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/exit requirements

Entry/exit requirements

Novel coronavirus

In an attempt to limit the spread of a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which originated in China, some governments have implemented special entry restrictions for their territory. Before travelling, verify if your destination’s local authorities have implemented any specific entry and exit restrictions related to this situation.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update – Public Health Agency of Canada

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.

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

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.

Useful links

Visas

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.

Nigeria Immigration Service 

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 about travel with children.

Yellow fever

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

Borders

The borders with Niger, Chad and Cameroon could be closed on short notice.

Health

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

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

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

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.

Influenza

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.

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 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*

Polio is present in this country. Polio can be prevented by vaccination, which is part of the routine vaccines for children in Canada.

Recommendation:

  • 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 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.

Rabies

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.

Risk

  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination for travellers from all countries.

Recommendation

  • 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/Water

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

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.

Schistosomiasis

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
  • 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 typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.


Insects

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 feverWest Nile virusyellow fever and Zika virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

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
  • In this country, dengue fever may occur sporadically. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue fever can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue fever changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. After a decline in reported dengue cases worldwide in 2017 and 2018, numbers have been steeply rising again.
  • 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

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.

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.

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.

Travel recommendations:

  • 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


Malaria

Malaria

  • 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

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.

Avian Influenza

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.

Protect yourself: 

  • 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
Lassa fever

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.

Monkeypox

Monkeypox is a risk 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.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

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.

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.


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

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.

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.

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

Ramadan

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 2020, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around April 23.

Drugs

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.

LGBTQ2 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 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.

General safety information and advice for LGBTQ2 travellers abroad

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.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

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.

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.

More about the International Driving Permit

Money

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

Natural disasters & 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.

Assistance

Assistance

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

Abuja - High Commission of Canada
Street Address13010G, Palm close, Diplomatic drive, Central Business District, Abuja, NigeriaTelephone+234 (09) 461 2900Fax+234 (09) 461 2902Emailabuja@international.gc.caInternetwww.canadainternational.gc.ca/nigeria/ServicesPassport Services AvailableTwitter@CanHCNigeria
Lagos - Deputy High Commission of Canada
Street Address4 Anifowoshe Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, NigeriaTelephone+234 (1) 271 5650Fax+234 (1) 271 5651Emaillagos@international.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableTwitter@CanHCNigeria
Port Harcourt - Consulate of Canada
Street Address15 Ahoada Street, Rumuibekwe Housing Estate, Port HarcourtTelephone+234 (806) 399 7054EmailHonoraryConsul.CPP@international.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableTwitter@CanHCNigeria

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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