The United States government has authorised the departure of non-emergency employees and their families from Nigeria due to a heightened risk of terrorist attacks in the country.
The US State Department announced the approval in its updated Nigeria travel advisory on Tuesday evening.
“On October 25, 2022, the Department authorized the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members due to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks,” the advisory read.
“The U.S. Embassy Abuja continues to have limited ability to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens in Nigeria. The U.S. Consulate in Lagos is providing all routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens in Nigeria.”
The latest travel update comes after the US Embassy in Abuja and the United Kingdom warned on Sunday of a possible terrorist attack in the capital Abuja, especially aimed at government buildings, places of worship, transport terminals, schools, among other targets.
The advisory also indicated that Nigeria is rated Level 3, which implies that citizens should reconsider travelling to the country. Americans were advised to possibly shelve travel plans “due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime.”
Meanwhile, the federal government has dismissed the security alert by US saying Nigeria is safer now than before.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, speaking in Abuja on Tuesday said, “Our country is safer today than at any time in recent times, thanks to the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. We do not discountenance the fact that terrorists, bandits and their kind would always want to do whatever it takes to disrupt our nation’s peace, security and stability. But our security forces have been proactive.”