|Still current at: 24 May 2011
Updated: 17 May 2011
This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Travel Summary and Local Travel- Northern Nigeria sections (change to curfew in Kaduna). The overall level of the advice has not changed; we advise against all but essential travel to Abia State, Bauchi State and to Jos and its surrounding areas; we advise against all travel to some other areas of Nigeria.
(see travel advice legal disclaimer)
Nigeria has the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa. You should exercise discretion in behaviour and dress, particularly in the north and during the Holy month of Ramadan and when visiting religious sites. See our Travelling during Ramadan page.
The Sharia penal code has been introduced in 12 northern states (Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kano, Yobe, Borno, Katsina, Jigawa, Bauchi, Kaduna, Niger and Gombe). Homosexuality by Muslims in those states can attract a sentence of 100 lashes if the defendant is unmarried or stoning if married or divorced. Alcohol consumption, infidelity and theft can attract harsh sentences including stoning, amputation, lashings or long prison terms. Non-Muslims are not bound by Sharia law.
Homosexuality is illegal under Federal law, covering the whole of Nigeria.
Possession, use of or trafficking in illegal drugs is a serious offence and can result in lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines.
It is illegal to import beer, mineral water, soft drinks, sparkling wine, fruits, vegetables, cereals, eggs, textile fabrics, jewellery, and precious metals. It is illegal to export pieces of African art, particularly antiques, without written authorisation from the Department of Antiquities. You should contact the Nigeria High Commission in London for specific information regarding customs requirements.
Photography in airports may lead to arrest.
For more general information for different types of travellers see Your Trip.