Canada has joined the growing number of countries warning its citizens against ‘non-essential’ travel to Nigeria due to the high level of insecurity and crime.
At a time when the country desperately needs foreign direct investment after the Covid-19 impact on its economy, the path to full-scale recovery is very narrow.
A series of warnings came in a travel advisory on the website of the Canadian government in unequivocal terms warning its citizens.
Canadians are advised to “avoid non-essential travel to Nigeria due to the unpredictable security situation throughout the country and the significant risk of terrorism, crime, inter-communal clashes, armed attacks and kidnappings.”
Listed under the “avoid all travel” category are the Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara in the Northwest; Northeastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa and Yobe; and Imo and Anambra in the Southeast.
The travel advisory noted that acts of terrorism and kidnapping were likely to occur in the listed states, as well as inter-communal and sectarian violence.
In the Niger Delta, Canada urged its citizens to be alert as the security situation in the region ranges from conflicts between militant groups and armed robbery to kidnapping. Piracy was also listed as an ongoing threat in light of ship hijackings in the Gulf of Guinea.
The Federal Capital Territory and Calabar, capital of Cross River state, are areas considered more stable and developed compared to the rest of the country, though the advisory asked its citizens to exercise a high degree of caution. In recent times, people who travel down from high-income countries are usually soft targets for criminals and oftentimes engage the services of security operatives.
In Lagos and neighbouring states of Ogun, Osun and Ondo, the advisory noted the increase in kidnappings for ransom targeting foreigners.
Nigeria and Canada have forged a strong international partnership spanning over 5 decades with the country providing the third-largest deposit of foreign investment in Nigeria.