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Nigeria
Official Name:

Federal Republic of Nigeria

Last Updated: June 13, 2017
Further Safety and Security Information

Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.

Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.

Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Abuja

1075 Diplomatic Drive
Central District Area, Abuja
Nigeria

  • Telephone +(234) (9) 461-4176 (Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)
  • Emergency After-Hours Telephone +(234) (9) 461-4000 
  • Fax +(234) (9) 461-4171
  • Email Consularabuja@state.gov
  • U.S. Embassy Abuja

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Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

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Must be valid at time of entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

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1 page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

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Yes

VACCINATIONS:

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Travelers may be required to show proof of polio and yellow fever vaccinations 

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

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None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

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None

Country Map

U.S. Embassy Abuja

1075 Diplomatic Drive
Central District Area, Abuja
Nigeria

Telephone: +(234)(9) 461-4176 (Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(234)(9) 461-4000

Fax: +(234)(9) 461-4171

Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Lagos
2 Walter Carrington Crescent,
Victoria Island,
Lagos, Nigeria

Telephone: +(234)(1) 460-3600 (Monday through Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(234)(1) 460-3400

Fax: +(234)(1) 261-2218

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Nigeria for information on U.S.-Nigeria relations.

A valid passport is required, and most visitors are required to have a visa. You should obtain your Nigerian visa from a Nigerian embassy or consulate in advance of your travel. In most cases, you cannot obtain a visa upon arrival at the airport.

Visit the Embassy of Nigeria web site for the most current visa and entry information.

You cannot legally depart Nigeria unless you can prove, by presenting your entry visa, that you entered Nigeria legally.

U.S.-Nigerian dual-national citizens are now required to have a valid Nigerian passport in order to depart the country. Dual-national citizens can be, and often are, denied boarding until they have obtained current Nigerian passports.  

Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors and foreign residents of Nigeria. Nigerian authorities may deny entry to foreigners who are “undesirable for medical reasons” and may require HIV tests for foreigners intending to marry Nigerian citizens. Please verify this information with the Embassy of Nigeria before travel.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Please see our most recent Travel Warning for more detailed information.

Boko Haram, an extremist group based in the northeast, has targeted churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions, and entertainment venues in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, Taraba, the Federal Capital Territory, and Yobe states.

Islamic State West Africa, which is now a distinct group from Boko Haram, is present in Nigeria, and may seek to attack locations frequented by Westerners including major population centers.

Kidnappings remain a security concern throughout the country and have resulted in the deaths of foreign nationals.

Crime: Armed muggings, assaults, burglaries and home invasions, car-jackings, rape, and extortions occur regularly and often involve violence. Law enforcement authorities usually respond slowly or not at all and provide little or no investigative support to victims.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for more information on scams.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. 

Report crimes to the local police at 112 and contact the Embassy at +(234)(9) 461-4176 or Consulate at +(234)(1) 460-3600.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.  

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy or Consulate for assistance.

For further information:

Nigeria has a number of well trained doctors, yet medical facilities are generally poor. Many medicines are unavailable. Caution should be taken when purchasing medicines locally as counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a common problem and may be difficult to distinguish from genuine medications. Hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.

Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

The following diseases are prevalent:

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Currency: The local currency, the Naira, is non-convertible. Obtaining U.S. dollars is increasingly difficult. Visitors should expect to pay most bills in cash.

Credit Cards: While credit cards may be accepted at established businesses in major cities, they are rarely accepted elsewhere. Virtually all credit card readers in Nigeria require embedded “smart” chips. Credit card use should be considered carefully.

Traveler’s Checks: Most banks do not cash traveler’s checks. Inter-bank transfers are often difficult to accomplish. Though money transfer services are available, money may only be transferred from abroad to Nigeria.

Photography: It is illegal to take photos or videos in/around

  • all government buildings
  • airports
  • bridges
  • near military installations/operations

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: Consensual, same-sex sexual relations are illegal in Nigeria. Entering same-sex marriage contracts and civil unions (defined to include “any arrangement between persons of the same sex to live together as sex partners”) is also criminalized, with punishments including fines and prison sentences of up to 14 years. Same-sex marriage contracts and civil unions entered into in a foreign country are not recognized under Nigerian law.

Public displays of affection between persons of the same sex are also punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. Furthermore, the law allows for the prosecution of persons who support or belong to advocacy groups relating to LGBTI issues, with prison sentences of up to 10 years. U.S. citizens who participate in free speech or assemblies relating to same sex marriage could potentially be prosecuted under this law.

In the following northern states, where Sharia law applies, penalties can also include death: Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.  

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Persons with disabilities can expect to experience difficultly in terms of accessibility and accommodation.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Road Conditions and Safety: Roads are generally in poor condition, causing damage to vehicles and contributing to hazardous traffic conditions. There are few working traffic lights or stop signs and few traffic control officers to manage traffic during power outages. The rainy season, generally from May to October, is especially dangerous because of flooded roads and water-concealed potholes.

All drivers and passengers should wear seat belts, lock doors, and keep windows closed.  You should secure appropriate automobile insurance. Drivers and passengers of vehicles involved in accidents resulting in injury or death have experienced extra-judicial actions, i.e., mob attacks, official consequences such as fines and incarceration, and/or confrontations with the victim's family.  

Driving between 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. should be done with extreme caution. Automobiles, trucks, or "okadas" often drive on the wrong side of the road or on sidewalks.

Traffic Laws and Culture: Motor vehicle accidents can be reported by dialing “119,” the local equivalent to 911. Traffic control officers may occasionally seek bribes when citing drivers for traffic violations. Motorists seldom yield the right-of-way and give little consideration to pedestrians and cyclists. Chronic fuel shortages have led to long lines at service stations, which disrupt or block traffic for extended periods.

Public Transportation: We recommend avoiding public transportation throughout Nigeria. Public transportation vehicles, such as buses and motorbikes, are unsafe due to poor maintenance, high speeds, and overcrowding. Motorbikes are banned within Abuja's city limits and many major thoroughfares in Lagos. Okada drivers and passengers are required to wear helmets in a number of cities in the country; police can fine violators on the spot.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.  

Visit the website of Nigeria’s National Tourism Ministry.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Nigeria’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page

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