Federal Republic of Nigeria
African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA)
May – September 2006
Location: Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of
Guinea, between Benin and Cameroon.
Geographic coordinates: 10 00 N, 8 00 W
Time Zone: GMT + 1
Government type: Republic, transitioning from
military to civilian rule.
Government: Primarily stable. Although a
generally peaceful transition from military to civilian
government was completed. The current
government faces the daunting task of rebuilding a
petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have
been squandered through corruption and
mismanagement, and institutionalizing democracy.
In addition, the administration must defuse
longstanding ethnic and religious tensions, if it is to
build a sound foundation for economic growth and
political stability. Despite some irregularities, the
April 2003 elections marked the first civilian transfer
of power in Nigeria's history. In 2002, TICJ ruled on the Cameroon-Nigeria land and maritime boundary by awarding the
potentially petroleum-rich Bakassi Peninsula and offshore region to Cameroon - Nigeria rejected the cession of the
peninsula but the parties formed a Joint Border Commission to peaceably resolve the dispute and commence with
demarcation in other less-contested sections of the boundary; several villages along the Okpara River are in dispute with
Benin; Lake Chad Commission continues to urge signatories Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria to ratify delimitation
treaty over lake region, which remains the site of armed clashes among local populations and militias
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Jibril Aminu
Chancery: 1333 16th Street N.W., Washington, DC 20036
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Howard Franklin Jeter
Embassy: 7 Mambilla Drive, Abuja
Mailing address: P.O. Box 554, Lagos
Telephone: 234-9-523-0916, 0906, 5857, 2235, 2205
Economy: Problematic. The oil-rich Nigerian economy, long hobbled by political instability, corruption, and poor
macroeconomic management, is undergoing substantial reform under the new civilian administration. Nigeria's former
military rulers failed to diversify the economy away from overdependence on the capital-intensive oil sector, which provides
20% of GDP, 95% of foreign exchange earnings, and about 65% of budgetary revenues. The largely subsistence
agricultural sector has failed to keep up with rapid population growth, and Nigeria, once a large net exporter of food, now
must import food. Nigeria receives multilateral assistance contingent on economic reforms. The government has lacked
the strength to implement the market-oriented reforms, such as modernization of 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.
In addition, longstanding ethnic and religious tensions must be diffused if it is to build a sound foundation for economic
Currency: Nigerian Naira (NGN)
Exchange Rate: 1 United States dollar = 140 Naira (10/21/03)
Other: Credit cards are not widely accepted in Nigeria. Traveler’s checks can be exchanged in Nigeria, but there
may be significant fees.
Languages: English is the official language. Other common languages include Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo) and Fulani.
Ethnic groups: Nigeria, which is Africa's most populous country, is composed of more than 250 ethnic
groups; the following are the most populous and politically influential: Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo
(Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, Tiv 2.5%.
Religions: Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, traditional/indigenous beliefs/religions 10%.
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz
Tipping: Tipping is an ill-defined concept in Nigeria. Generally, tip 10% in good restaurants, but check the bill to
see if a service charge has been included.
Other: In Nigeria, shaking hands with everyone is customary on meeting and departing. Women should curtsy
when being introduced. It is considered proper to ask about relatives, even if this is a first meeting with the
individual. Among the Yoruba ethnic group, an important guest will be greeted by applause. A Yoruba will wink at
their children if they want them to leave the room. When visiting a Nigerian, it is appropriate to give a small gift.
Small items with our logo would be acceptable. When offered a drink by your host, it may be considered slightly
offensive to refuse the offer. Objects should be handled or passed with the right or both hands, but not the left
hand. A vulgar gesture in Nigeria is called the hand push, where the hand is held forward at shoulder or head
level, with the fingers spread. The sole of the foot should not be pointed at a person, as this is also considered
offensive. Local culture and Islamic tradition encourage conservative dress for women. Women should dress
modestly and respect local customs regarding dress, particularly in the Muslim north. Ankle-length garments are
suggested, and it is inadvisable for women to wear trousers.
Passport and Visa requirements: A passport and visa are required. Documents for onward/return travel
required. Letter from Nigerian embassy/consulate/representation in business traveler's home country regarding
reasons for travel to Nigeria or a letter of invitation from firm in Nigerian with which you will be doing business is
Length of stay: Passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the last day of their planned stay is required. Visa
valid for 90 days (special visas may be issued for stays over 90 days).
Per Diem: Abuja $68/day; Ibadan $55/day; Kaduna $29/day; Kano $35/day; Lagos $80/day; other areas $29/day
Lodging Cost: $51- $220/night
Airfare: $1369 - $1969
Water and Food: All water should be regarded as potentially contaminated. Water used for drinking, brushing
teeth, or making ice should first be boiled or otherwise sterilized. Dairy products are unpasteurised and should be
avoided and milk should be boiled. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.
Disease: High risk of contracting Malaria exists, with resistance to cholorquine being reported. Yellow Fever risk
is high and precautions should be taken (see below). Cholera and Polio outbreaks have been reported in several
Nigerian states. Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus, Rift Valley Fever, Leishmaniasis, Onchocerciasis, Chikungunya,
Bilharzia (schistomiasis), Meningococcal Meningitis have been reported. Hepatitis A, B and E are widespread.
AIDS is epidemic. Rabies is widespread and if bitten, immediate medical attention should be sought.
Immunizations required: none
Immunizations recommended: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend immunization
against Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Meningococcal Meningitis, Polio, and Typhoid Fever. Anti-Malaria
drugs are also strongly recommended.
Precautions: Travelers’ diarrhea, Cholera, and Typhoid Fever are caused by water and food borne viruses,
bacteria, or parasites and can be prevented by boiling all water, avoiding dairy products, cooking all vegetables
and meats, and peeling fruit. Bilharzia (schistomiasis) is present in fresh water and all swimming in fresh water
should be avoided. Insect repellant and netting should be used faithfully as a precaution against Malaria,
Meningococcal Meningitis, West Nile Virus, Rift Valley Fever, Leishmaniasis (carried by sand fly), Onchocerciasis
(carried by black fly), Chikungunya, and Yellow Fever, and Dengue Fever.
Medical facilities: Medical care in Nigeria are poor and not up to Western standards. Poor training, a lack of
equipment, and poor sterilization are the major issues for the hospitals and clinics in Lagos. Healthcare givers
usually expect immediate payment for health services and may only accept cash. Counterfeit medications are a
problem and may be difficult to distinguish from genuine medications, especially of generic medicines purchased
at local pharmacies or street markets. The Embassy maintains a list of physicians and other health care
Crime: The crime rate in Nigeria is one of the highest worldwide. Violent and petty crimes are a daily occurrence
in most areas, particularly urban areas. There are few, if any, areas of Lagos that can be considered safe. Do not
unnecessarily walk about. Carjacking and violent home and hotel invasions are common risks in Nigeria. Use
extreme caution as petty crimes often turn violent when a victim resists. Theft of U.S. passports is not
uncommon and should be reported immediately to the local police and nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Driving: The only secure method of transportation is Nigeria is a private car with driver. Hotel taxis may be used
if a private car is unavailable. Do not use public transportation. Carjacking and roadside banditry are endemic,
with the greatest threat is in Lagos and especially on the road between the airport and downtown. Limit all travel
to daylight hours.
Other: Large-scale civil unrest, including demonstrations and strikes, can occur at anytime and has the propensity
to spark violence with rioting and looting. Give all demonstrations and rallies wide berth. Ethnic violence among its
hundreds of ethnic and tribal groups continually flares in many rural parts of Nigeria. Since Nigeria is a major oil
exporter that few Middle Eastern governments want to alienate, the country has largely escaped problems with
international terrorism. Nevertheless, the predominantly Muslim north, in recent years, has been swept by a rising
tide of Islamic fundamentalism, often resulting in violence. Hopeless bureaucracy and widespread official
corruption at the airports result in notoriously erratic security checks.
Safety and Security Tips for Traveling: http://travel.state.gov/asafetripabroad.htm
UCAR Travel Advisories/Hazards/Ratings:
Nigeria is considered a “listed country” by UCAR, and would require a special risk analysis by Safety and Site Services
Director and approval by President’s council member. Listed countries are defined as countries where law and order has
broken down, war on-going or imminent, disease epidemic or where the government/economy vulnerable or ineffective,
peace maintained by outside forces, high levels of violent crime directed at travelers.