Country Reports

Nigeria Country Report

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Risk Level

Very High


Executive Summary

The COVID-19 virus-induced collapse of the oil price and a pre-existing shortage of foreign-exchange reserves makes it highly likely Nigeria will be forced into a devaluation of the naira, probably in third quarter 2020. A further devaluation is likely the following quarter if the oil price stays below USD40 per barrel, compared to the budgeted figure of USD57. The extreme dependence on oil means IHS Markit is forecasting a GDP decrease of 0.5% for 2020, down from the previous estimate of 1.7% growth.Nigeria’s land borders with neighbouring countries remain closed, which authorities on 3 November 2019 said would end on 31 January 2020; however, the closures have continued for some time beyond this, as Nigeria is determined to force its neighbours to take measures to curtail rampant smuggling. The extension of the closures is likely to damage bilateral relations and foster loss of faith in Nigeria's ability to create the conditions to impose a continental free trade agreement.One of the world's lowest VAT rates rose from 5% to 7.5% in March 2020 as part of the Finance Bill signed by President Buhari in December 2019, which incorporated the 2020 budget. However, intense pressure on oil companies to pay disputed arrears and for ad-hoc taxes on other sectors will remain, given ongoing revenue shortfalls, which are now certain to increase because of a global economic slowdown, and the fiscal authorities' inability to meet budgeted targets.An uneasy militant truce is likely to prevail in the oil-producing Niger Delta in the 12-month outlook. There is a rising risk of the Islamic State-affiliated faction of Boko Haram resuming IED attacks outside the northeast: a series of successful attacks on military targets underline its growing capability and weapons stockpiling.
Last update: March 17, 2020

Operational Outlook

President Buhari signed legislation in April 2019 increasing the minimum wage, reducing the risk of nationwide strike action. Unions are likely to maintain pressure for its swift implementation, including by impoverished state bureaucracies. Oil industry unions frequently threaten strikes, although these are commonly averted through negotiations or are of short duration. A renewed anti-corruption drive by Buhari in his second term is likely to remain largely ineffective due to powerful government figures' entrenched interests, and limited resources of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. It has also been undermined by the appointment to leading roles of individuals previously investigated for corruption, reducing the likelihood of measures improving oil industry transparency.

Last update: January 3, 2020



A surge in repeated successful attacks on military bases by the Islamic State faction of Boko Haram is making official claims that the group is technically defeated look increasingly nonsensical. The Islamist militants appear at their strongest since late 2014 against a demoralised and poorly resourced army, despite a lull in activity in the second half of 2019. They likely have an aspirational target to resume attacks outside their northeast heartland at some point in 2020. The faction led by Abubakar Shekau will continue to stage regular suicide bombings. Niger Delta militants pose little current threat as prominent leaders have likely been bought off by clandestine financial concessions.

Last update: January 3, 2020


Nigeria is a central link in African organised crime networks, with criminal groups from the country and, to a lesser extent, Ghana believed to control much of the continental cocaine and heroin trade. The country is also regarded as both a major supplier and final destination for human traffickers, while regional and domestic conflicts have led to increased flows of weapons into Nigeria. Oil theft is widespread in the Niger Delta as an adjunct to and funder of recurrent separatist militancy. Despite domestic attempts to boost anti-trafficking operations, institutional and resource weaknesses, porous borders, poor training and corruption continue to hamper attempts to fight crime.

Last update: January 3, 2020

War Risks

Nigeria has improved security co-operation with neighbours Cameroon, Chad, and Niger to contain Islamist militants, but their support is likely to be scaled down if Nigeria's unilateral closure of its borders to goods lasts well into 2020. The long-term requirement to counter a common threat had been drawing them closer and reducing risks of inter-state war. The risk of civil war is very high, because of anger of Christian communities in Middle Belt states along Nigeria's east-west sectarian fault line towards President Muhammadu Buhari's perceived failure to counteract Fulani herder attacks. The lack of viable long-term solutions and rising demographic pressures mean further periods of sustained farmer-herdsmen massacres are likely.

Last update: January 3, 2020

Social Stability

Very high

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria is likely to continue staging gatherings, ostensibly of a religious nature, despite its proscription by the Nigerian government. These will be forcibly repressed by the security forces, particularly in the federal capital Abuja. The group is still contesting its banning through the court system. Further anti-South Africa demonstrations are likely in the six-month outlook as well as riots and looting targeting South African-linked businesses. This follows the latest wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa on 1-2 September 2019 which largely targeted Nigerians who own small businesses in cities. Further xenophobic attacks will act as a trigger for reprisal measures and opportunistic looting.

Last update: January 3, 2020

Health Risk


Vaccinations required to enter the country

Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and over one year of age.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

Meningococcal Meningitis: For prolonged stays, or in case your travels will put you in close contact with a local population affected by an epidemic of the disease (for children over the age of two years).

Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Very high

The Harmattan (wind) affects the coastal states of the Gulf of Guinea, including Nigeria, every year from November to April. It carries large quantities of dust and sand, which can lead to significant disturbances in air traffic and breathing difficulties.

During the rainy season (May to October), localized flooding is also possible, which can cause traffic problems. The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) predicted that 27 out of the 36 states are likely to see flooding in 2017. The states include Abia, Kogi, Niger, Sokoto, Zamfara, Gombe, Lagos, Delta, Yobe, Kano, Imo, Bayelsa, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Taraba, Adamawa, Borno, Ebonyi, Anambra, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Cross River, Kaduna, Jigawa, and Benue.

Because of significant ocean currents on the Nigerian coast, individuals should exercise caution when swimming as cases of drowning are reported each year.

Last update: April 5, 2019


Very high

It is recommended to use air transportation when traveling around the country. For flights to major destinations within the country, Air Peace and Med View airlines are recommended. The schedule of the airline operators can be confirmed on their websites.

Except for main roads in the north and southwest (Lagos region), road infrastructure is typically poor: roads are usually poorly maintained and not well lit. Travel by car is often dangerous due to these conditions as well as the aggressive driving habits of many locals (speeding, erratic driving, aggressive passing, etc.). Driving at night should be avoided altogether due to the elevated risk of attacks. In case of an accident involving personal injury caused to locals, it is also strongly advised to go immediately to the nearest police station because of the risk of a hostile reaction. Finally, it is important to respect the many roadblocks erected by security forces, both in cities and the countryside.

Intercity travel that cannot be made by airplane should be made in convoys of several 4x4 vehicles with a sufficient supply of water, food, and fuel, and accompanied by armed guards. In some areas (Niger Delta and outside the secure areas of Abuja and Lagos in particular), an armed guards escort (MOPOL) is required. It may be advisable to inform a trusted individual about the planned route and schedule. When possible, it is recommended to vary travel routes and time in order to thwart the surveillance of potential criminals.

In cities, it is recommended to avoid using taxis due to the risk of being targeted by criminals. This recommendation also applies for moto-taxis in Lagos, which are known to be dangerous. It is advised to use taxis with drivers employed by a reputable company. Carjackings and thefts, sometimes committed by armed men, are frequent on urban and rural roads. It is recommended to keep valuables out of sight and to drive with doors locked and windows rolled up.

A rail network exists in the country but is in poor condition. However, in an effort to modernize the country, the president plans to rebuild 3505 km (2178 mi) of railway lines and on July 26, 2016, inaugurated the first high-speed train line linking Abuja to Kaduna.

Last update: April 5, 2019


Access to electricity is not guaranteed throughout Nigeria; only 55.6 percent of the population has access.

In 2015, only 69 percent of the population had access to running water.

Access to information technology is widely available in Nigeria (mobile phones are owned by 78 percent of people and 43 percent have access to the internet). Increasing access to information technology has led to the development of e-commerce in the country. The Nigerian-based website Jumia is one of the foremost e-commerce websites on the continent.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information


The north of the country is hot and dry with a long rainy season (April to September). The south is more humid with a rainy season from March to November. Generally speaking temperatures are lower in the south but very high humidity levels can make conditions much more unpleasant there. A respite from this humidity often comes in December and January as the Harmattan, a hot and dry trade wind from the Sahara, passes through the region.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +234
Police: 090 40 87 21
Ambulance: 199


Voltage: 240 V ~ 50 Hz


Last update: April 5, 2019