Lagos is a high-risk travel destination and a trip here should be planned with extreme caution. The level of criminality in Lagos is high and incidents of violent crime, including assaults and armed attacks, have occurred against foreign nationals. There is a real risk of kidnap throughout Nigeria, and the UK Government advises that ‘those engaged in tourism, humanitarian aid work, journalism or business are viewed as legitimate targets.’ Nigeria has also seen a considerable amount of terrorist activity. The most recent incident was in November 2020, when insurgents attacked and murdered 70 civilians.
Transport and taxis risk: HIGH
Watch out for unlicensed cabs that will overcharge you. Tourists should always hire a pre-booked taxi from a reputable taxi company when traveling in and around Lagos. Kidnaps for ransom are a terrifying reality in Lagos and foreigners are commonly the target. Kidnappers can dress like taxi drivers. After asking for the destination location, the driver pulls out a gun and order the victim to get in the car, kidnapping them for ransom.
Also, armed robbers do target occupants in vehicles; smash-and-grab robberies are common, with thieves canvassing stopped vehicles for valuables. Thieves will break the vehicle’s window or simply reach in and grab items while a vehicle stops in traffic.
Scams & Pickpocket Risk: HIGH
The rates of petty crime is high here. Common scams involve ATM skimming, fake beggars faking injuries and online cat fishing. Once a relationship has been built, they will either tell you of a problem (fake accident, emergency surgery, stolen wallet, problem with hotel), or claim to want to take a flight to visit and then ask you to wire money over.
Natural Disaster Risk: HIGH
Lagos is seeing the terrible effects of climate change. In 2019, Lagos saw a severe flood that left thousands of people homeless.