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10 Nov, 2023 12:22

US travel advice for Nigeria causing ‘unnecessary alarm’ – ex-minister

The former official dismisses a US embassy warning about security problems in the West African country
US travel advice for Nigeria causing ‘unnecessary alarm’ – ex-minister

A former communications minister in Nigeria has accused the US government of stirring unwarranted panic by advising people against non-essential travel to the West African nation. 

Speaking to RT on Thursday, Adebayo Shittu described the warning as “unnecessary alarm against the Nigerian state.”

Shittu was reacting to a statement issued on 3 November by the American Embassy in Abuja, which cited “credible information that there is an elevated threat to major hotels in Nigeria’s larger cities.” This followed travel advice on the State Department website, last updated in September, urging people to “reconsider travel to Nigeria due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed gangs.

The former minister claimed that the US has a higher rate of crime than Nigeria, and accused Washington of “a deliberate ploy to sabotage the potential growth” of the African country by stirring fear in the minds of potential foreign investors.

Speaking on Monday, the Nigerian minister for information and national orientation, Mohammad Idris, also argued that the US travel warnings are causing economic damage.

“What we have seen is that such advisories do not achieve anything other than needless panic, and they can have a severe adverse economic impact, not to mention what they do to undermine the government’s efforts to attract investment,” Idris told reporters.

The US raised its warning level for Nigeria last year due to the threat of terrorism, and urged against travel to several states.