April 7, 2000
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the dangers of travel to Nigeria. Nigeria has limited tourist facilities and conditions pose considerable risks to travelers.
Violent crime, committed by ordinary criminals, as well as by persons in police and military uniforms, can occur throughout the country. Kidnapping for ransom of persons associated with the petroleum sector, including U.S. citizens, remains common in the Niger Delta area.
Use of public transportation throughout Nigeria is dangerous and should be avoided. Taxis pose risks because of the possibility of fraudulent or criminal operators and poorly maintained vehicles. Most Nigerian airlines have aging fleets, and there are valid concerns that maintenance and operational procedures may be inadequate to ensure passenger safety.
Nigerian-based business, charity and other scams target foreigners worldwide and pose a danger of financial loss. Recipients pursuing such fraudulent offers risk physical harm if they come to Nigeria. Persons contemplating business deals in Nigeria are strongly urged to check with the U.S. Department of Commerce or the U.S. Department of State before providing any information or making any financial commitments. No one should provide personal financial or account information to unknown parties. An invitation to enter Nigeria without a visa is normally indicative of illegal activity. Under no circumstances should U.S. citizens travel to Nigeria without a valid visa. Furthermore, the ability of U.S. Embassy officers to extricate U.S. citizens from unlawful business deals and their consequences is extremely limited.
For additional information consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Nigeria and the Department's brochure "Tips for Business Travelers to Nigeria," available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov or by providing a SSAE to the Office of Overseas Citizens Services, Room 4811, Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520-4818.