The United States, in its latest travel advisories warned its citizens to avoid some 14 Nigerian states, rife with terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.
Although it approved to travel to other parts, it urged its citizens to “Reconsider travel to Nigeria”.
In the updated advisory, the U.S. State Department added at least 116 countries this week to its “Level Four: Do Not Travel” advisory list.
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The UK, Canada, France, Israel, Mexico, Germany and others are on the list, citing a “very high level of COVID-19.”
Before Tuesday, the State Department listed 34 out of about 200 countries as “Do Not Travel.” The State Department now lists 150 countries at Level Four.
Nigeria is categorised as Level 3.
Unlike countries categorised as Level 4, based on the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nigeria has a good rating on COVID-19 prevalence.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 1 Travel Health Notice for Nigeria due to COVID-19, indicating a low level of COVID-19 in the country”, the State Department said.
It then listed areas the American visitor should avoid, while in Nigeria.
These are: Borno, Yobe, and northern Adamawa states due to terrorism and kidnapping, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara states due to kidnapping.
It also banned American citizens from going to 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.
In a country summary on Nigeria, the U.S. State Department wrote:
“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, especially in the Northeast.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Nigeria due to security conditions.
It offered its citizens security tips, while in Nigeria. These are;
*See the U.S. Embassy’s web page regarding COVID-19.
*Visit the CDC’s webpage on Travel and COVID-19.
*Carry proper identification, including a U.S. passport with a current Nigerian visa, if needed.
*Use caution when walking or driving at night.
*Keep a low profile.
*Review travel routes and times to vary your predictability.
*Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
*Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
*Monitor local media for breaking events, and be prepared to adjust your plans.
*Be aware of your surroundings.
*Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
*Avoid demonstrations and large political gatherings.
*Review your personal security plans.