Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 22 August 2016, 15:08 NZST
  • Still current at: 21 November 2017

Extreme Risk

There is extreme risk to your security in the north-eastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, and Yobe and we advise against all travel. There is an ongoing significant threat from terrorism and a very high threat of kidnapping in these areas. Any New Zealanders currently in these areas are advised to leave immediately.  

There is extreme risk to your security in the delta states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers (including Port Harcourt and Bonny Island) and the riverine areas of Cross River state in the south east of the country and we advise against all travel. The significant risk of kidnapping, armed attacks against foreign oil companies and expatriate workers, localised conflict and violent civil unrest present an extreme risk to safety in these areas. 

High Risk

There is high risk to your security elsewhere in Nigeria (except the city of Lagos), due to the threat from terrorism, kidnapping and violent crime. We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel.

Some Risk

There is some risk to your security in the city of Lagos due to the threat of terrorism and violent crime and we advise caution. 

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Terrorism
There is a very high threat from terrorism, especially in northern states, and terror attacks occur 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 and mass kidnappings.  Future attacks are highly probable, mainly perpetuated by Boko Haram.  

Most attacks take place in the areas we assess as “Extreme risk” however 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. 

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 recommend being vigilant at all times, particularly in public places. 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. The presence of security forces may be an indication of a high risk area. 

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 limit movements and adhere to any instructions and restrictions issued by the local authorities, including curfews. 

Kidnapping
There is a high threat of kidnapping throughout Nigeria, particularly in northern Nigeria and in the Niger Delta states, where most of the recent kidnappings have occurred. 

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, carjacking and 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.  

When driving you should keep doors locked, windows up and keep any valuables out of sight. 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 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. 

New Zealanders are advised to avoid all large public gatherings, protests, demonstrations and rallies as they have the potential to lead to violence, with little notice. 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 conducted against ships in Nigerian waters and 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. 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. 

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. 

Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour in Nigeria to avoid offending local sensitivities. 

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 High Commission London, United Kingdom is accredited to Nigeria

Street Address New Zealand House, Second Floor, 80 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TQ, United Kingdom Telephone +44 20 7930 8422 Fax +44 20 7839 4580 Email aboutnz@newzealandhc.org.uk Web Site http://www.mfat.govt.nz/united-kingdom Hours Mon - Fri 0900 - 1700 hrs

See our regional advice for Africa

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Accredited New Zealand High Commission United Kingdom

Street Address
New Zealand House, Second Floor, 80 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TQ, United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 20 7930 8422

Fax: +44 20 7839 4580

Email: aboutnz@newzealandhc.org.uk

Website: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/united-kingdom

Hours: Mon - Fri 0900 - 1700 hrs

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