The United States of America has warned its citizens to reconsider travelling to Nigeria due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and security challenges in some parts of the country.
The warning was contained in a travel advisory dated 6 August and published on the website of the US Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria.
“Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to COVID-19. Some areas have increased risk.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Nigeria due to COVID-19.
“Nigeria has lifted stay at home orders, and resumed some transportation options and business operations,” the statement read.
The US Embassy warned its citizens against travelling to 12 states in Nigeria over security challenges.
The statement read: “Do Not Travel to: Borno and Yobe States and Northern Adamawa State due to terrorism; Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, and Yobe states due to kidnapping; Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime.
“Country Summary: Violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, and rape – is common throughout the country. Exercise extreme caution throughout the country due to the threat of indiscriminate violence.
“Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centers, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather.
Sporadic violence occurs between communities of farmers and herders in rural areas.
“There is maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea.”
The embassy warned that the US government “has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Nigeria due to security conditions”.
It also listed a to-do list for US citizens planning on coming to Nigeria, including carrying proper identification, including a US passport with a current Nigerian visa if needed; exercise caution when walking or driving at night and review travel routes, making no attempt to physically resist any robbery attempt and to be extra vigilant when visiting banks.
Other measures for its citizens are staying alert in locations frequented by Westerners and avoiding demonstrations and large political gatherings.