MFA advises S'poreans to defer all non-essential travel to Nigeria

There's a heightened risk of terror attacks.

Sulaiman Daud | October 28, 2022, 12:47 PM

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Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a travel advisory on Oct. 27 warning against non-essential travel to Nigeria.

It reads, "In view of the current security situation and heightened risks of terrorist attacks in Nigeria, Singaporeans are advised to defer all non-essential travel to Nigeria."

MFA did not elaborate further on the "current security situation" nor the reasons behind heightened risk of terror attacks.

Singaporeans should take precautions

It advised Singaporeans currently in Nigeria to remain vigilant, monitor the local news and heed instructions from local authorities.

They should avoid places with large crowds and take "all necessary precautions" for personal safety, including purchasing comprehensive travel and medical insurance.

MFA's advisory comes after the U.S. State Department issued their own travel advisory.

U.S. issued travel advisory

Nigeria is currently classed as a Level 3, which indicates that visitors should reconsider travel due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime.

The U.S. advisory has a few more details, including specific cities and places to avoid:

  • Abuja due to terrorism
  • Borno, Yobe, Kogi, and northern Adamawa states due to terrorism and kidnapping
  • Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara states due to kidnapping
  • Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crime, kidnapping, and maritime crime

It adds:

"Violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, hostage taking, banditry, and rape – is common throughout the country. Kidnappings for ransom occur frequently, often targeting dual national citizens who have returned to Nigeria for a visit, as well as U.S. citizens with perceived wealth. Kidnapping gangs have also stopped victims on interstate roads.

Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria. 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. Terrorists are known to work with local gangs to expand their reach.

There is civil unrest and low-level armed militancy in parts of Southern Nigeria, especially in the Niger Delta region. Armed criminality, including kidnapping and maritime crime, is also pervasive in this region.

Violence can flare up between communities of farmers and herders in rural areas. There is frequent maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea."

The U.S. government also ordered the departure of family members of U.S. government employees from Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, due to heightened risk of terror attacks.

In 2021, The Guardian reported on instability in Nigeria, citing threats from bandits, the Boko Haram terror group, and Igbo secessionists in the southeast.

Singaporeans who need help

Singaporeans are encouraged to eRegister with MFA at this link.

Singaporeans who require consular assistance should contact the Honorary Consulate-General of the Republic of Singapore in Lagos.

Address: Nipost Towers, Block A (6th Floor), 1/3 Ologun Agbaje Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria

Tel: +234-1-4610818, 4619088, 80996, 78888

Email: [email protected]

And also the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Duty Office (24 hr)

Address: Tanglin, Singapore 248163

Tel: +65 6379 8800/8855

Fax: +65 6476 7302

Email: [email protected]

Photo by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu via Unsplash