The Nigerian Government has advised citizens travelling to the United States and Europe to be vigilant in the highbrow areas of cities in the countries.
The advisory was said to have been prompted by attacks on Nigerians in London and the stealing of their belongings, including passports.
This is contained in a statement made by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Monday at a news conference in Abuja.
Mohammed warned Nigerian travellers to the countries that they stand the risk of being robbed.
He said, “It has come to the attention of the government that Nigerian travellers to the United States and some countries in Europe are having their belongings, especially money and international passports stolen at an increasingly high rate.
The most recent victims of this are travellers to the UK, most of whom were dispossessed of their belongings at high-brow shops, particularly in the high street of Oxford.
“We have therefore decided to advise Nigerians travelling to Europe and the United States to take extra precaution to avoid being dispossessed of their belongings.”
“This is not your typical travel advisory. Issuing such is the prerogative of our embassies/high commissions as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is merely a piece of advice to Nigerians who may be visiting the affected parts of the world,” the minister added.
In October, the US Embassy issued an advisory to American citizens on the elevated risk of terror attacks in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
According to the warning, the attack would be especially aimed at government buildings, places of worship, schools and other centres where large crowds gather.
The United Kingdom government also warned its citizens in Nigeria to stay alert due to an “increased threat of terrorist attack in Abuja.”
“Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect western interests, as well as places visited by tourists,” it said.
Similarly, Canada in its travel advisory urged its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Nigeria, including in Abuja, due to the unpredictable security situation throughout the country.
“Avoid all travel to the following regions due to the risk of terrorism, armed attacks, kidnapping, intercommunal and sectarian violence,” the advisory read.
“The north-western states of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara. The north-central state of Plateau. The north-eastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa and Yobe. The Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo and Rivers (with the exception of Rivers’ capital city, Port Harcourt, where we advise against non-essential travel.
“Exercise a high degree of caution in the cities of Calabar and Lagos due to the incidence of crime.”
The Australian government also warned its citizens that there is an elevated risk of terror attacks in Nigeria, especially in Abuja.
“We now advise do not travel to Abuja due to the very high threat of terrorist attacks. If you’re in Abuja, avoid all travel, stay alert and follow local news and the advice of security authorities,” the government said.
“Reconsider your need to travel to Nigeria overall due to high threats of terrorist attack and kidnapping, the volatile security situation, possible violent civil unrest and high levels of violent crime. Higher levels apply.”