Fire and rescue services
Call 119 or 112.
Call 119, 112 or go to the nearest hospital.
Call 119, 112 or go to the nearest police station.
We haven't changed our level of advice:
Reconsider your need to travel to Nigeria due to the high threat of terrorist attack and kidnapping, crime and violent civil unrest travel.
Higher and lower levels apply in some parts of the country.
Do not travel to Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna and Yobe states and riverine areas (coastal) of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta and Rivers states.
Do not travel to:
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Travellers to Nigeria are at risk of:
Exercise extreme caution. Get professional security advice. The security situation could change suddenly. You could get caught up in violence directed at others.
Gunmen attacked and killed 7 police officers in July 2018 in the Galadimawa area, near the International Airport in central Abuja. Police have increased patrols and checkpoints in Abuja and at entry points into the city.
Be alert when you approach police checkpoints. Take care when driving, especially at night. See Travel
In Nigeria, terrorist attacks:
Australian officials take extra security measures when they travel outside Abuja and Lagos.
Militant groups, such as Boko Haram, also known as Islamic State West Africa Province, have attacked a range of targets in Nigeria.
Attacks can be large, simultaneous, and might include:
Targets for future attacks may include:
Secondary attacks sometimes target first responders.
In June 2017, Boko Haram staged multiple attacks in Maiduguri city in Borno state, killing at least 11 people.
Boko Haram plans to take control of large parts of north-eastern Nigeria. The group is active in:
Boko Haram has kidnapped more than 1000 people and killed more than 10,000 people. More than 2.5 million people are now displaced as a result of recent attacks. Affected areas have been pillaged, buildings burnt and crops destroyed.
Parts of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe are still under Boko Haram's control. Recent attacks are in retaliation to continued military operations in the region.
Militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, has attacked multiple oil facilities and workers across the riverine region.
Many buildings in Nigeria have tightened security. A security presence may mean a higher risk of an attack. Less security may not mean less risk.
Authorities may set, change or cancel curfews without notice.
To protect yourself from terrorism:
Report any suspicious activity or items to police
If you're in a 'Do not travel' area, leave if it's safe to do so.
If you must go to a crowded place, have a clear exit plan.
If there's an attack, leave the area immediately. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
The threat of kidnapping is high in all parts of Nigeria.
The UK Government has warned that Boko Haram plans to kidnap foreigners, including in Bama Local Government Area of Borno state, along the Kumshe-Banki axis.
In March 2019, the US Embassy also warned that terrorists plan to kidnap travellers in Borno state.
Kidnapping is a risk in the south-eastern riverine states of:
Kidnappers usually target locals, but Westerners, including Australians, have been taken. Aid workers may be targets.
Kidnapping of Westerners occurs:
Motives for kidnapping are usually:
Kidnappers sometimes execute their victims.
If you travel to a high-risk area despite our advice, we may not be able to provide consular services. Seek professional security advice and arrange personal security measures.
The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent. Civil unrest can interrupt:
Long-standing tribal, religious, political and community arguments cause serious violence and unrest. Many civilians have already died. This occurs most often in central and northern Nigeria.
Protests by pro-Biafran groups occur in the south-east of Nigeria and can turn violent.
Political gatherings and demonstrations are becoming increasingly frequent in major Nigerian cities.
Foreigners generally aren't the target of political violence. However, you could get caught up in violence directed at others.
To protect yourself if you encounter a protest or local tension:
Nigeria's crime rate is high. Criminals work alone or in gangs. Crime increases at night, particularly in major cities and on highways. You may encounter:
Assaults and robberies are common on public transport and when travellers are alone in taxis.
Petty crime is a risk, especially for foreigners in crowded places.
Crime is common on the roads near airports in Lagos, Abuja and other urban centres.
Criminals might pose as:
The security situation is more stable in Edo, Ekiti, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo states.
To protect yourself from petty crime:
To protect yourself from impostors:
If you're a victim of violent crime, especially rape, get immediate medical attention. Nigeria has a high HIV/AIDS infection rate.
Police can be slow to respond to reports of criminal activity. Sometimes they don't respond at all.
Internet scams come in many forms, including romance, friendship, business and job offers. These scams often come from Nigeria.
Scam victims often lose money.
To protect yourself from scams:
If you suspect a scam, get legal advice.
Don't travel to Nigeria to get your money back or to get revenge. You could be in danger.
If you're travelling to Nigeria, your family and friends may receive bogus phone calls and emails from Nigeria. Scammers may claim that you're in legal, financial or medical trouble and that you need money.
Some scams ask you to transfer money through the Australian High Commission in Abuja. Some scammers pretend to work there.
To protect your family and friends from scammers:
If friends and family can't contact you directly, they should contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre.
Check with the Australian High Commission in Abuja if you're asked to send money or details to them (see Local contacts).
Scammers can access your personal data when you use open networks. Be careful when and where you use internet banking and other sites that transmit or store your data or passwords.
The rainy season is from May to October. Flooding can close roads.
The dry season is from November to April. Temperatures may be higher than 40°C for multiple days, especially in the north.
Strong ocean currents occur along the coast. Conditions can change quickly. Several people drown each year.
Nigeria experiences the Harmattan from December to March. This seasonal wind blows sand and dust in the air. Dust storms are common and flights can change due to bad visibility.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Nigeria. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
HIV/AIDS is common in Nigeria.
Take precautions if you engage in activities that may expose you to the virus.
Yellow fever is widespread in Nigeria. Yellow fever is a potentially fatal virus spread by mosquitoes. It's prevented by vaccination. Get vaccinated for before you leave.
Other common insect-borne diseases include:
To protect yourself from disease:
Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.
Lassa fever may be a risk in several states in Nigeria. Monitor local media and the World Health Organization for updates.
Lassa fever is spread through contact with rodents or body fluids of infected people. To protect yourself:
Common waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases include:
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
To protect yourself from illness:
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
Monkeypox is transmitted to humans from animals, usually monkeys, rodents, and squirrels.
In areas where monkeypox occurs, avoid:
Polio is widespread in Nigeria.
Stay up to date with polio vaccinations, including a booster dose, as per the Australian Immunisation Handbook.
Facilities outside Nigeria's major cities are poor, and are even more basic in rural areas.
You may need to pay cash up-front before doctors and hospitals will treat you, even in an emergency.
If you're seriously ill or injured, you'll need evacuation to a place with better facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe. They may include long jail terms and large fines.
The death penalty can apply for serious crimes like murder and armed robbery.
Sharia law operates in 12 northern states:
Sharia law is increasingly enforced in these areas.
Same-sex sexual activity between adults can carry the death penalty in these states. Stealing and adultery may also lead to harsh punishment.
Same-sex relationships are illegal in all parts of Nigeria. They are also socially unacceptable.
It's illegal to:
It's illegal to photograph or film around:
Restricted areas may not be well defined or signposted.
It's also illegal to:
You're not allowed to import:
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
If you're an Australian-Nigerian dual national and aged between 18 and 30, you may need to join the National Youth Service Corps program.
Nigerian authorities may insist dual nationals enter and exit on a Nigerian passport.
Contact an embassy or consulate of Nigeria for advice before you travel.
Nigeria is ethnically and religiously diverse. Behave and dress conservatively, especially outside of urban areas.
The Islamic holiday month of Ramadan will be from late April to late May in 2020. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws at this time.
Avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public and around people who are fasting.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.
If you decide to travel to Nigeria, despite our advice, you need a visa or Residence Permit (CERPAC or Green Card) to visit.
Some travellers can get a visa on arrival, subject to strict conditions. You'll need a letter of approval before you travel.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
If you have HIV/AIDS, you may not be able to enter Nigeria. This applies to visitors and expats.
You may need an HIV test if you plan to marry a Nigerian citizen.
You may need a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter Nigeria. Some airlines may want to see one when you leave.
Find out about returning to Australia after exposure to yellow fever.
Australian expats in Nigeria must register with Nigerian immigration authorities.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The local currency is the Nigeria Naira (NGN).
Declare all amounts over NGN5000 when you arrive. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
Facilities for changing traveller's cheques and Australian dollars are very limited.
US dollars are accepted at:
Nigeria is mostly a cash economy. It's hard to use non-Nigerian debit and credit cards. Even local cards may not work outside of larger cities.
Fraud is a risk when using debit and credit cards. Contact your bank to make sure your cards will work in Nigeria.
Nigeria's borders can close at short notice. Seek local advice.
International Driving Permits aren't recognised in Nigeria.
You must have a local driver's licence.
Driving in Nigeria is dangerous due to:
You're 4 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident in Nigeria than in Australia.
Armed robbery happens on highways. Criminals stop travellers with nails and branches on the road, fake breakdowns and injured people.
Expect delays when you travel. This can include:
These will often happen in major cities and after dark.
If you can't produce your identity documents, car registration or ownership papers, police may fine you or ask for a bribe.
If you're in a traffic accident, nearby crowds may gather quickly. They may also overreact if they think you're at fault.
Roadside assistance is either limited or unavailable.
Fuel shortages are common, particularly in the northern regions. Long lines at service stations often block traffic in urban centres.
If you plan to drive:
Be alert to security threats, particularly in traffic jams and at traffic lights.
If police stop you, follow their instructions.
When travelling outside major cities:
Motorbikes are banned in some cities. Check with your travel insurer if your policy covers you to ride a motorcycle.
Always wear a helmet.
Regular taxis and motorcycle taxis are common. They can pose a serious danger to passengers, other road users and pedestrians.
Use car hire services that include a local driver. These services are available at most major hotels.
Public transport is often unsafe, due to:
Trains are often overcrowded and are targeted by criminals.
Avoid using public transport. Travelling in a locked motor vehicle is a safer option.
At sea or on ships in port, you may encounter:
This risk has increased in the coastal areas of the Gulf of Guinea, including near Lagos and the Niger Delta. Criminals with speedboats and high-calibre weapons are common in these areas.
The Nigerian Navy has limited capacity to respond to piracy. The International Maritime Bureau issues piracy reports.
Domestic and international flights are often overbooked, delayed or cancelled suddenly.
Safety and reliability of some domestic airlines is a concern. Airlines may not have strict maintenance procedures and safety standards. If you travel on these airlines, insurance may not cover you.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Nigeria's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
National emergency numbers, 119 and 112, can be unreliable. They may not work in parts of the country.
Call 119 or 112.
Call 119, 112 or go to the nearest hospital.
Call 119, 112 or go to the nearest police station.
Police can be slow to respond to reports of criminal activity. Sometimes they may not investigate your report. Sometimes they don't respond at all.
Always try to get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia has a High Commission in Abuja. However, it's currently only providing limited consular and passport services. Check before you visit.
You can also access limited services from the Australian Consulate in Lagos.
The High Commission and Consulate don't process visa requests.
Check the High Commission website for details about services, opening hours, appointments and any temporary closures.
8th Floor, Union Marble House
1 Alfred Rewane Road (formerly Kingsway), Falomo
Ikoyi Lagos, Nigeria
Phone: (+234 0) 803 300 7291
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.