Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 27 October 2022, 10:44 NZDT
  • Still current at: 30 November 2022

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COVID-19

If you are planning international travel at this time, please read our COVID-19 related travel advice here, alongside our destination specific travel advice below.

Do not travel

Do not travel to Abuja and the states of Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers (including Port Harcourt and Bonny Island), the river areas of Cross River state, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara. There is an ongoing significant threat from terrorism and a very high threat of kidnapping, localised conflict, and armed attacks in these areas. The security situation is volatile. If you are in one of these areas you should consider departing as soon as it is safe to do so. (Level 4 of 4).

Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel elsewhere in Nigeria (except the cities of Calabar and Lagos), due to the threat from terrorism, kidnapping and violent crime (level 3 of 4).

Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution in the cities of Calabar and Lagos due to the threat of terrorism and violent crime (level 2 of 4).

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Nigeria

Terrorism
There is a very high threat from terrorism, especially in northern and northeastern states, and bandit groups are increasingly active in the northwest. No location in Nigeria should be viewed as being outside the scope of terrorist groups. Terror attacks occur very regularly in Nigeria. There have been many serious attacks which have resulted in a significant number of deaths and injuries. The terrorist group Boko Haram regularly mounts large-scale attacks in Nigeria, including bombings, gun assaults, assassinations, arson and mass kidnappings. Future attacks are highly probable, most likely by Boko Haram or Islamic State West Africa (ISWA). Attacks by bandit groups on civilians, motorists and local communities can involve gunfire, explosives and kidnapping. 

Most attacks take place in areas where we advise Do Not Travel, future attacks could occur anywhere in Nigeria. The Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) has been targeted in several attacks in recent years, resulting in high numbers of deaths and injuries. Further attacks in Abuja, Lagos and elsewhere are likely and could be indiscriminate.

Armed groups often target transport routes. Avoid intercity transport via road or rail. If despite our advice you undertake travel within Nigeria, we advise that you seek professional security advice and support before departing.

Other common targets include churches and mosques during times of worship, government and security institutions, hotels, restaurants, shopping centres, markets, educational facilities and police stations. Many attacks have occurred around religious or public holidays or festivals in public and crowded places. We advise New Zealanders to remain vigilant at all times. Locations frequented by foreigners have been attacked and may be targeted again. 

Military operations against Boko Haram in northern and north-eastern parts of Nigeria are ongoing. New Zealanders in Nigeria should be aware that any increase in violence between security forces and terrorist groups is likely to increase the possibility of terrorism throughout Nigeria.

Local authorities in Nigeria often impose, amend and lift curfews in response to security incidents at short notice. New Zealanders in areas affected by violence are advised to monitor local media for the latest information on possible curfews and restrictions on movement, and follow any advice from local authorities.

Local authorities may also interrupt telecommunication services in the northeastern states without notice and for indeterminate periods of time. Neighbouring states may also be affected by these disruptions.

New Zealanders throughout Nigeria are also advised to keep themselves informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources.

Kidnapping
There is a high threat of kidnapping throughout Nigeria, particularly in North and North-Eastern Nigeria and in the Niger Delta states. Attacks are often indiscriminate – residents and foreigners alike have been abducted and held captive, with some deaths being reported. Humanitarian aid workers may be targeted. 

There is an increasing risk of kidnapping by bandit groups throughout Nigeria. Kidnappers often target transport routes.

Expatriate workers at oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta states are at particular risk of kidnapping, which is typically financially motivated. New Zealanders working in the Niger Delta states against our advice are advised to seek professional security advice and ensure appropriate personal security measures are in place at all times.

Violent Crime
There are high rates of violent crime such as armed robbery, home invasion, mugging, carjacking, sexual assault and violent assault throughout Nigeria. Crime is more prevalent at night, particularly in urban areas, such as Lagos, and on the main highways. 

New Zealanders in Nigeria are advised to be security conscious at all times and should avoid walking and travelling at night, particularly to isolated areas. No resistance should be given if you are the victim of a robbery, mugging or carjacking as this could lead to an escalation in violence. As victims of robbery are often targeted due to their perceived wealth, it is advisable to avoid wearing or displaying items that appear valuable, such as electronic devices and jewellery. We also recommend carrying the minimum amount of cash required.   

When driving you should keep doors locked, windows up and keep any valuables out of sight. Don’t use public transportation throughout Nigeria due to safety reasons. We recommend using prearranged transport only or making bookings through your hotel.

Civil Unrest
Numerous deaths and injuries have occurred as a result of violent civil unrest and inter-communal violence in Nigeria in recent years. There is an ongoing risk of violence, particularly in central and northern regions. Bystanders can get caught up in the violence directed at others.  

New Zealanders are advised to avoid all large public gatherings, protests, demonstrations and rallies as even those intended to be peaceful  have the potential to turn  violent. If you are in an area affected by unrest, you should leave the immediate vicinity, stay indoors and monitor local media to stay informed of developments.

Piracy
Piracy, including against off-shore oil rigs, is a significant problem in Nigerian waters. There have been armed robberies targeting ships in the coastal areas of the Gulf of Guinea, including in the Niger Delta region. 

Mariners are advised to take appropriate precautionary measures. For more information view the International Maritime Bureau's piracy report.

Scams
Commercial and internet fraud is common in Nigeria, including internet relationship scams. New Zealanders should be wary of any offers that seem too good to be true, as they may be a scam. For further information see our advice on Internet Fraud and International Scams and Internet dating scams. 

General Information
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Nigeria, the ability of the government to provide assistance to New Zealand citizens is severely limited, particularly in areas where we advise against all travel. 

We offer advice to New Zealanders about contingency planning that travellers to Nigeria should consider.

Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour in Nigeria to avoid offending local sensitivities. Sharia law operates in many Northern states. Same-sex relationships are illegal in all parts of Nigeria.

Photography of airports, government buildings and military installations is illegal, and can result in fines or imprisonment.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include lengthy imprisonment or fines.

Keep your passport in a safe place and only carry a photocopy for identification purposes. Checkpoints operate throughout the country. New Zealanders should carry relevant personal identification and vehicle registration papers with them at all times.

The possession, sale and export of African art, particularly antiquities, without authorisation may carry heavy penalties.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Nigeria should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Nigeria are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips


The New Zealand Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is accredited to Nigeria

Street Address Bole Sub City, Woreda 03, House No 111, Behind Atlas Hotel/close to Shala Park, (Namibia Street), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Postal Address New Zealand Embassy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Private Bag 18-901 Wellington Mail Centre 5045, Wellington Telephone +251-11-515-1269 Fax +251-11-552-6115 Email aue@mfat.govt.nz Web Site https://www.mfat.govt.nz/ethiopia Hours Open to the public: Monday – Friday, 9am-12pm by appointment Note In an emergency or if you require urgent assistance after hours, please call the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's 24/7 Consular Emergency line on +64 99 20 20 20.

See our regional advice for Africa

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Accredited New Zealand Embassy Ethiopia

Street Address
Bole Sub City, Woreda 03, House No 111, Behind Atlas Hotel/close to Shala Park, (Namibia Street), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Telephone: +251-11-515-1269

Fax: +251-11-552-6115

Email: aue@mfat.govt.nz

Website: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/ethiopia

Hours: Open to the public: Monday – Friday, 9am-12pm by appointment

Related advice from other countries

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