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Country Profile


Nigeria is a developing country in western Africa that has experienced periods of political instability. It has the largest population on the continent, estimated at 144 million people, and its infrastructure is not fully functional or well maintained. Read the Department of State’s Background Notes on Nigeria for additional information.



Image of Nigeria
Country Name: Nigeria
Continent: Africa
Capital City: Abuja
Boundary Countries:

Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

Abuja Clinics Ltd. (Abuja, Garki, Karu), Barnes Hospital (Lagos), Bimax Hospital and Maternity Home (Lagos), Bio-Royal Hospital & Maternity Ltd. (Abuja), CRI Mediclinic (Abuja, GRA, Ikeja, Port Harcourt, VGC), General Medical Care (Lagos), National Hospital Abuja, Nisa Premiere Hospital (Abuja), Parklande Specialist Hospital (Lagos), Reddington Hospital (Lagos), St. Charles Borromeo Hospital (Anambra), St. Nicholas Hospital (Lagos), Zankli Medical Centre (Abuja)

Main Cities:

Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Sokoto, Yola, Zaria, Kaduna, Warri, Port Harcourt

Country Size: 923,768 sq km
Population: 131,859,731



English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani

Currency: naira (NGN)
Predominant Religions:

Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous beliefs 10%

National Holidays: Independence Day (National Day), 1 October (1960)
Economic Status:

Oil-rich Nigeria, long hobbled by political instability, corruption, inadequate infrastructure, and poor macroeconomic management, is undertaking some reforms under a new administration. In the last year the government has begun showing the political will to implement the reforms urged by the IMF, such as to modernize the banking system, to curb inflation by blocking excessive wage demands, and to resolve regional disputes over the distribution of earnings from the oil industry.


Nigerian Armed Forces (Forces Armees Nigeriennes, FAN): Army, Niger Air Force

US Presence:

The US Embassy is located at 1075 Diplomatic Drive, Central Area, Abuja. Tel [234](9) 461-4000, The e-mail address for the Consular Section in Abuja is ConsularAbuja@state.gov.

The US Consulate General is located at 2 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos. American citizens can call 011 [234] (1) 261-1215 during office hours (7:30a to 4p). For after-hours emergencies, call 011 [234] (1) 261-1414, 261-0195, 261-0078, 261-0139, or 261-6477. The email address for the Consular Section in Lagos is LagosCons2@state.gov. 
The website for the Embassy and the Consulate is http://abuja.usembassy.gov.
Document Requirements:

A passport and visa are required.  The visa must be obtained in advance from a Nigerian Embassy or Consulate.  Visas cannot be obtained on arrival at the airport.  Promises of entry into Nigeria without a visa are credible indicators of fraudulent commercial schemes in which the perpetrators seek to exploit the foreign traveler's illegal presence in Nigeria through threats of extortion or bodily harm.  U.S. citizens cannot legally depart Nigeria unless they can prove, by presenting their entry visas, that they entered Nigeria legally.  Entry information may be obtained at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 3519 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone: (202) 822-1500, or at the Nigerian Consulate General in New York, telephone: (212) 808-0301.  Overseas, inquiries may be made at the nearest Nigerian embassy or consulate.

Visit the Embassy of Nigeria website at for the most current visa information.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information Sheet.

Major Airports:

Airports: 69, Airports w/paved runways: 36

Lagos – Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS/DNMM)
Lagos Airport, Nigeria, PO Box 21084, Ikeja, Lagos, 01, NIGERIA
Lagos Airport, Nigeria, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, 01, NIGERIA
Tel: +234 (0)1 493 3385, +234 (0)1 493 1140
Fax: +234 (0)1 493 3147
Customs, hours: 24 hours

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

US Dept. of State TRAVEL WARNING for NIGERIA updated on 24 May 2010.

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Nigeria and continues to recommend U.S. citizens to avoid all but essential travel to the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers; the Southeastern states of Abia, Edo, and Imo; and the city of Jos in Plateau State, because of the risks of kidnapping, robbery, and other armed attacks in these areas. Violent crime committed by individuals and gangs, as well as by persons wearing police and military uniforms, is a problem throughout the country.  This replaces the Travel Warning for Nigeria dated July 17, 2009, to update information on violent activity and crime in Nigeria.

Since January 2009, over 111 foreign nationals have been kidnapped in Nigeria, including 18 in 2010.  Six foreign nationals were killed in connection with these abductions; two U.S. citizens were killed in separate abduction attempts in Port Harcourt in April 2010.  Local authorities and expatriate businesses operating in Nigeria believe that the number of kidnapping incidents throughout Nigeria is underreported. 

A loose alliance of militant groups in the Niger Delta region has conducted a number of attacks against oil installations and posts of the Nigerian military’s Joint Task Force (JTF), which had attempted to close the militant camps. In June 2009, the Federal Government of Nigeria offered unconditional amnesty to any militant willing to surrender his/her arms and accept the government’s amnesty program.  While almost all major militant leaders accepted the offer and the amnesty remains in effect, the potential for violence and the risk of kidnapping remains high.  Violent incidents involving “ex-militants” continue. 

Travel by foreigners to areas considered by the Nigerian government to be conflict areas without prior consultation and coordination with local security authorities is not recommended, as the Nigerian government may see this activity as inappropriate and potentially illegal and it may detain violators. Nigerian authorities detained six U.S. citizens, including journalists, on six occasions, in areas where militant groups had operated in 2008. The Nigerian government interrogated these U.S. citizens for lengthy periods of time without bringing any formal charges before ultimately deporting them. Journalists are required to obtain a special accreditation from the Ministry of Information prior to traveling to conflict areas in the Niger Delta region states. This special accreditation is in addition to the general press accreditation and a valid Nigerian visa which are required to conduct such activities elsewhere in Nigeria.

Many foreign oil companies operating in the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers have implemented “essential travel only” policies for their personnel. The U.S. Mission currently requires advance permission for U.S. government travel to these states, as well as the states of Abia, Edo, and Imo, and the city of Jos in Plateau State, given the safety and security risk assessments and the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General's limited ability to provide assistance to people detained by Nigerian authorities in these states. U.S. citizens who are resident in these states are advised to review their personal security in light of the information contained in this Travel Warning.

Nigeria is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society in which different ethnic and religious groups often coexist in the same geographic area. Travelers throughout the country should be aware that, in areas where such circumstances prevail, there is the potential for ethnic or religious-based disturbances. The States of Bauchi, Borno, and Plateau have experienced violence by fringe sects or inter-ethnic groups in the past year.

Violent crime committed by individuals and gangs, as well as by some persons wearing police and military uniforms, is an ongoing problem throughout the country, especially at night. Visitors and resident U.S. citizens have experienced armed muggings, assaults, burglary, carjacking, rape, kidnappings, and extortion - often involving violence. Home invasions remain a serious threat, with armed robbers accessing even guarded compounds by scaling perimeter walls; following, or tailgating, residents or visitors arriving by car into the compound; subduing guards and gaining entry into homes or apartments. Armed robbers in Lagos also access waterfront compounds by boat. U.S. citizens, as well as Nigerians and other expatriates, have been victims of armed robbery at banks and grocery stores and on airport roads during both daylight and evening hours. Law enforcement authorities usually respond slowly or not at all, and provide little or no investigative support to victims. U.S. citizens, Nigerians and other expatriates have experienced harassment and shakedowns at checkpoints and during encounters with Nigerian law enforcement officials. Traveling outside of major cities after dark is not recommended due to both crime and road safety concerns. 

U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Nigeria are strongly advised to register through the State Department's travel registration website.  U.S. citizens without internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

U.S. citizens should contact the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos for up-to-date information on any restrictions. The U.S. Embassy in Abuja is open Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos is open Monday-Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The U.S. Embassy in Abuja can be reached by telephone, including after-hours emergencies, at [234(9) 461-4000]. The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos can be reached by telephone, including after-hours emergencies at [234(1) 460-3600] or [234 (1) 460-3400]. You may also visit the U.S. Mission's web site.  

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's most recent Country Specific Information for Nigeria and the Worldwide Caution, which are located on the State Department's website.  Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or by calling a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Mortality Statistics:

Required: None
Recommended: Yellow Fever, Malaria, Hep A & B, Rabies, Typhoid, Meningoccal Boosters: tetanus-diptheria, measles, and polio as needed

Immunization Indicators:

Infant MR total: 97.14 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: TOTAL 47.08 years (male 46.52/female 47.66)

Infectious Disease Concerns:

A number of rickettsial infections also occur in this region. Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection, can be contracted in fresh water in this region. Other infections that tend to occur more often in longer-term travelers (or immigrants from the region) include tuberculosis, HIV and hepatitis B.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical facilities in Nigeria are poor. Diagnostic and treatment equipment is most often poorly maintained and many medicines are unavailable. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a common problem and may be difficult to distinguish from genuine medications. While Nigeria has many well-trained doctors, hospital facilities are generally of poor quality with inadequately trained nursing staff. Hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 16
Referrals: 28
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Polio, Malaria risk in Nigeria, amongst others. Polio is still endemic in Nigeria. Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis (river blindness) are other diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Endemic foci of river blindness exist in all countries listed except in the greater part of The Gambia, Mauritania. The risk for contracting African sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis) is high. Plague occurs sporadically or in outbreaks.

Communications Info:

Country Code: +234
Internet Code: .ng


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