Lagos is one of the interesting cities in Nigeria where you can enjoy your stay, but the major concern of every expats visiting Nigeria for the first time is the issue of security, particularly when it’s Lagos, the most populated city in Nigeria.
In this guide, we’ll share with you some security tips expats can adopt to stay safe while in Lagos for holidays or on a business trip.
Everyone needs security in one way or another, knowing you are free from threats or danger keeps you at peace in all your endeavors –business or tourism.
Lagos is a busy city, all round crowded with different activities. As a foreigner in Lagos you need extra caution just about everything.
Security Tips For Expats Visiting Lagos for Holidays (or Business)
- Get first hand information about airport activities
- Be wary of pranks of some immigration officials
- Get little local denomination
- Don’t give your passport to anyone
- Make enquiries from your embassy
- Set a transaction limit on the debit
- Make reservations with a genuine transport company
- Be wary of dubious gangs hanging around the airport roads
- Don’t take an airport taxi
- Do not accept any suggested business deals
- Avoid cyber café as much as possible
- Be on alert in traffic
- Make Google Map your friend
- Don’t bring out huge cash at public places
Here are few tips to help you move around Lagos with ease.
Get first hand information about airport activities
Immigration is the first point of contact when you arrive Nigeria.
The first hassle is getting through the immigration at the airport without any hitches. Ask your host to give you detail information about the activities at the airport.
Be wary of pranks of some immigration officials
The present administration is fighting hard to reduce the rate of bribery, but there are still some official bribery you will encounter at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
This is way too frustrating as they would want to strip you of every cash on you. Apart from immigration officials, everyone at the airport wants a tip, you can tell them next time.
Get your international passport ready, when interacting with the immigration don’t loose balance or get carried away with their pranks.
Some of them act funny when they see unsuspecting foreigners apparently to seize their goods.
Get little local denomination
Get little local denomination of cash with you to tip them when asked, it would serve you well at that point. Nigerians are always on the lookout for instant gratification, be pleasant but unyielding to those who are legally representing the country. Avoiding giving tips to everyone.
Don’t give your passport to anyone
Don’t give your passport to anyone, keep it with you. Put away your phone (s) and camera, there are instances where security agents have asked unsuspecting visitors to “surrender the camera” you will never get it back. That’s stealing by trick.
Make enquiries from your embassy
Make enquiries from your embassy to help you with recommendations and travel information especially at this time when the country is preparing for the next elections.
Set a transaction limit on debit card
Using a credit card is not advisable, get the equivalent in Naira, inform your credit card company to set a transaction limit on the card before traveling with it.
It is advisable not to exchange currency at the airport, you can do that at the hotel but be discreet about it.
Make reservations with a genuine transport company
Another security measure for expats visiting Lagos for the first time for holidays and business is for to make reservations with a genuine transport company to pick you up from the airport, with your host no problem.
Taxify and Uber are some of the online transit you can use. Even as you use any of the online transport method, be on the alert, use your Google map and keep in touch with your host every minute.
Uber Head office
Lagos Ibadan Express Way, Ojodu, Ikeja
J9WJ+28 Ojodu Berger
0815 992 4966
Be wary of airport taxi
Don’t take an airport taxi, it is extremely dangerous unless your trusted contact in Nigeria makes such plan for you .
Be wary of dubious gangs hanging around the airport roads
With congested roads, tourists are at the mercy of dubious gangs hanging around the airport roads, be cautious. There are transport companies that operates online.
Do not accept any suggested business deals
Do not accept any suggested business deals unless the person has been your long time trusted business ally
Doing business with someone you’re not familiar with may lead to scam.
If anyone tries to lure you into such, check online for Economic & Financial Crime Commission ( EFCC) to make an immediate report, don’t wait until you get scammed. The agency is responsible for the fight against corruption.
Avoid cyber café as much as possible
There are also cyber crime perpetrators known as “yahoo boys” beware of them, don’t use public cyber café.
As time goes by, you will integrate with the society, and learn how things work in Lagos without facing dubious people and activities.
Learn few words of the local language.
Be on alert in traffic
Be on alert in traffic, don’t bring down the car windows, lock the doors too. You being a stranger, avoid friendship with strangers too. Lagos has a golden rule –If it sounds too good to be true, it is!
Make Google Map your friend
With the help of Google map look up places you want to visit, if you must ask people about directions to find your way be brief about it and ask only once.
Don’t bring out huge cash at public places
As an expat visiting Lagos,avoid as much as possible bringing out huge cash at public places even when it’s the supermarket. Make your budget and spend before leaving your hotel room.
Whatever transactions you indulge in the bargain, don’t bring out huge cash for people to see when making transactions of any kind, no matter how little it seems.
Another Lagos City safety measure is: If you are alone, don’t join a gathering of people nor disturb their gathering, it is dangerous. When going around town, be mindful of the transportation vehicle you enter.
Enter from the bus stop, don’t enter any vehicle that is halfway empty or the conductor is shouting “one chance”( meaning one seat left to be filled up) or when you come across a vehicle with youngsters –be cautious. Preferably to go around in a cab booked online, a reputable company.
One of the popular reserved locations in Lagos is Victoria Island. Victoria Island Lagos safety measure you can adopt for yourself is by travelling around with a tourist guide, exchange pleasantries, be moderate in your dress style, eat only what you know. If you want to try new cuisine do it in a neat environment.
Don’t book just any hotel
One of the security tips expats need to pay attention is reading reviews on hotel booking sites before making final decision. Your best choice will definitely be from best hotels in Lagos. When we say “best” then you should know that we’re putting security into consideration.
There are dangers in Lagos, but they are surmountable if you can adopt some of the above safety tips for you to enjoy your holidays in Lagos or for you to have a wonderful business trip.