US Government warns expats to stay away from Nigeria

Nigerian Militants

The United States Government has issued a travel warning underlining the dangers for expats living and working in Nigeria after two American citizens were murdered in the country’s southern delta.

No more details regarding the two deaths were available but the US State Department advises foreigners to “avoid all but essential travel” to Nigeria.

British and American citizens are said to be at high risk of kidnapping and murder, since January 2009 over 100 US expats have been victims of kidnappings. Six were murdered. Earlier this year three British expats were kidnapped but they were later released without harm.

The Foreign and Commonwealth office has also issued a warning on their website against “all travel to the Delta States of Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers, and advises British nationals in these states to leave, because of the very high risk of kidnapping, armed robbery and other armed attacks in these areas”.

Many of the expats who are targeted by these ruthless criminals tend to work in Nigeria’s oil industry, despite Nigeria being the world’s 11th largest producer of oil many of the country’s citizens live in poverty and the criminal gangs abduct foreign citizens in an attempt to pressurize the Nigerian government and the oil companies to distribute some of their oil wealth amongst the people of the country.

Even with the danger presented British expats have flocked to Nigeria in droves, especially retirees, 2,700 of the 16,000 Brit expats are retirees, a 667 percent increase in the last ten years.