Lagos - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.

Yes. Kidnapping is the biggest concern. Common city crime as well. - Mar 2024

It's a high crime city, but we have never had a problem because we take reasonable precautions. I walk on the streets, but only when alot of people are around in day light. I stick to the islands that expats live on. - Aug 2020

Lagos is a high crime post. Most people will not experience any crime however as the Islands are the wealthiest parts of Nigeria; but the truth is that anything can happen. Some colleagues have been robbed, as noted by a prior reviewer, there have been past instances of armed robbery. The Nigerian police are not very capable, so you really need to be smart - for example avoiding going out at night and following RSO alerts and restrictions on where travel is allowed. - Jul 2020

Yes, definitely. The overwhelming majority of people will leave Lagos without experiencing anything scary, though, since the Consulate community isn't a particular target. That said, I don't think it's accurate to say that the same situational awareness you'd employ in large US cities will keep you as comparatively safe in Lagos. During my time in Lagos, there were two instances of armed robbery of Consulate community members in cars, neither of which took place in a situation that would read as even remotely dangerous in New York or DC, and both of which took place within one-tenth of a mile of a stationed police presence. Unfortunately, I think you just have to hope you're part of the lucky majority. - Jun 2019

There is a significant amount of crime in many parts of the city, but most of the areas where expats live and mingle are fairly safe. The same rules apply that would in any major city. - Aug 2018

Sort of? Local staff are much more likely to be affected than American staff. They frequently experience petty theft, carjackings, home invasions, etc., while Americans will probably just be asked for bribes. We are limited to a relatively small section of Lagos, but traffic is so bad that you probably don't want to frequently venture outside of that area anyway. - Mar 2018

Yes. It's Nigeria. While Lagos doesn't have the security concerns as the Northeast or even Abuja, it's still stifling. The security apparatus does a good job of keeping us safe, but it often feels too restrictive. Walking around at night isn't advised. - May 2016

Crime is critical here. Kidnappings for ransom of American citizens happen regularly. The local staff are victimized by robbers while stuck in the horrendous traffic they drive to work through. Political violence and terrorism are a concern as well, though protests aren't anti-American and Boko Haram hasn't had the same effect here as in the north or middle belt. - Nov 2015

Kidnappings is the major threat to foreigners, especially expats with the oil companies. Carjacking comes second. Scams, cyber crimes, fraud, and theft. Many locals are robbed at gunpoint while using local transportation. Expats are often robbed while stuck in traffic, known as "go slows." Armed and often violent home invasions are common in the expat community. 24-hour armed guards, supplemented by locally hired police (MOPOL'S) armed with AK-47s, are a must. Any night travel to the mainland of Lagos is extremely dangerous. Armored vehicles are recommended. Ambulance/Police/Fire services are virtually nonexistent. Mugging is rare, if you keep to the safe part of Lagos to do your walking on Ikoyi and Victoria Islands during daylight. All trips to and from the airport require an armed escort vehicle after dark. - Dec 2011

Crime and civil unrest is a big problem and the constant vigilance makes for a stressful posting, especially if one has children. There were home invasions within the diplomatic and expat communities and carjackings. - Sep 2008

Lagos has one of the highest crime rates in the world. Home invasions, car jackings, petty theft all issues we deal with daily. - May 2008

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