The United Kingdom, through its Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, FCDO, has issued safety advisories to its citizens in Nigeria and those travelling into Nigeria following the Central Bank of Nigeria naira redesign policy.
In its updated advisories on Wednesday, the country urged its citizens in Nigeria and those travelling into the country to take extra precautions around banks and Automated Teller Machines.
This is as the United Kingdom government also informed her citizens of the coming general elections in Nigeria, warning them of possible pockets of violence in some parts of the country.
The updated advisories read, “Around 117,000 British tourists visit Nigeria every year. Most visits are trouble-free, but a small number of British people encounter problems. You should take sensible precautions to protect your safety.
“Nationwide elections will take place in Nigeria on 25 February and 11 March 2023. Movement restrictions may be enforced during this period, especially on election days, and there is a heightened risk of protests and violence.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed the redesign and issue of new N200, N500 and N1’000 Naira notes. This has led to shortages of cash, which are likely to persist for a period. You are encouraged to check notes provided by currency exchange vendors will be valid for the duration of your travel to Nigeria, and to follow local CBN guidelines.
“Areas such as banks and ATMs have seen a spike in criminal activity, and as such, it is advised that you take extra precautions, particularly when withdrawing cash in crowded spaces, and during nighttime hours.
“There have been outbreaks of violence in South West Nigeria as a result of cash shortages, and there is a risk of other urban areas being impacted across the country.
We advise travellers in Nigeria to exercise their judgement, including being aware of any large crowds or potential disturbances,” the FCDO said.
They were also cautioned against travels Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa, Niger, Sokoto, Kogi, Niger, Kebbi, Abia, Plateau and Taraba States.
The UK government also mentioned the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s announcement of the online Health Declaration Form for incoming travellers.