Working in some countries is more complex than doing business in others. Still, our duty as EPAs and CPOs is equally relevant all the same. While it is critical to provide exceptional service anywhere globally, these Nigeria travel risks will illustrate what clients should expect from their EPAs.
Executive protection is one of the most intimate vocations. Trusting someone with your life and having faith that they will deliver on their promise has long-lasting effects on anyone’s career. Once lost, an executive protection agent can never regain that trust.
For this reason, we recommend that businesspeople and companies’ CSOs choose well-respected EP firms and adhere to their strategies and principles to provide full protection.
However, sometimes the safety and security of the client are ensured through the tool of violence. To avoid using this tool, we will closely investigate the Nigeria travel risks that you should be looking out for in advance. In any case, apart from responding to a situation, we advise implementing preventive tactics first.
Nigeria Travel Risks Worsened By Gun Restrictions
Since private security cannot be armed in Nigeria, all those needing armed guards are legally required to use the Nigerian Mobile Police Force. A paramilitary department of Nigeria’s state police, MOPOL was established to manage public disorder incidents.
In a nutshell, the roles of MOPOL within Nigeria’s borders include the following:
- Protection of civil authority,
- Armed security escorts,
- Residential security guards,
- Protection of diplomatic community and senior government officials,
- Security and anti-crime, and
- Public disorder management.
Due to considerable instability and poverty in all Nigerian states, crime and insecurity have been steadily increasing. The following is our advice and recommendations based on our experience operating in Nigeria.
Recent reports have shown that kidnap for ransom is a rising concern in the region. Due to perceived wealth, business travelers are particularly vulnerable to attacks. In 2013, a British businessman was kidnapped in the capital city of Lagos. This only added to the belief that Nigeria is one of the world’s worst countries for kidnappings.
That is not to say that locals and international staff working locally are not exposed to this type of crime. Actually, mass kidnappings are as frequent as ever. And sometimes, these crimes result in disastrous outcomes. In January 2020, suspected militants carried out one of the most grueling strikes against a United Nations facility in Borno.
Therefore, taking special precautionary measures and liaising with local experts and security detail is utterly helpful to all those traveling to Nigeria.
The Incidents That Shaped Recent Nigerian History
The modern history of Nigeria has been a turbulent one in terms of social unrest and turmoil. On October 20, 2020, Nigerian Army members opened fire on peaceful protestors from the decentralized social movement End SARS.
Amnesty International, an organization advocating human rights throughout the world, has said that at least 12 protesters were killed. Yet, in the following days, it became clear that the number is higher. The event has come to be known as the Lekki Shooting, referring to the Lekki toll gate, where protestors gathered.
As the situation unraveled, civil organizations accused state authorities of denial and covering up the incident.
Moreover, another worrying episode took place on the Third Mainland Bridge. As one of the most frequented bridges in Nigeria, it came under public scrutiny in 2006, when commuters claimed it was vibrating noticeably.
Due to a strong outcry of citizens, public authorities commenced remedial work. Nevertheless, every few years, the need arises for the novel renovation of cracks on the bridge, leading to partial closures.
The questionable safety of traveling on the massive bridge may influence some executive protection professionals to avoid it altogether. Even though the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing claims it is safe to use it nowadays, we suggest this be decided on by the responsible EPAs.
Perhaps flying directly to the local airport is a safer bet and using some of the alternative bridges, Eko and Carter. Additionally, another matter to consider while traveling to Nigeria is road congestion. For instance, with 40 percent of cars in Nigeria registered there, the capital city of Lagos is one of the most congested cities globally.
Note: It is possible to bypass the traffic by working with MOPOL officers.
Tourism in Third World countires
Travel advisors are always carefully studying ongoing social and political developments in countries worldwide. In this sense, Nigeria has subsequently failed to end up in the top travel destinations. For this reason, it is of utmost importance to familiarize yourself with relevant security details when traveling to this or any other country.
For EP professionals, choosing the right place to stay with the principal makes all the difference. That is particularly relevant in Third World countries, where violence can erupt in a matter of seconds. Hence, safeguarding the executive and their immediate environment can be essential when visiting unstable parts of the globe.
Deciding on the most secure hotels in Nigeria can be a daunting task, which is why we will present you with our hotels of choice.
Secure Hotels in Nigeria
Number one on our list outside Ikoyi and Victoria Island is Sheraton Lagos Hotel. Conveniently located near the airport, it boasts superb amenities and a prime location. With a fitness center, pool, kitchen, and high-speed internet, the hotel staff ensures a remarkable accommodation experience.
Apart from a short incident at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, it seems that the hotel premises and their surroundings are safe. And a great mid-way solution to stay in Ikoyi.
The landing option for Ikoyi’s list of safe hotels is Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel. Offering scenic views of the upscale Victoria Island banks, the hotel is among the best suited for international guests. With Scandinavian design and lux amenities, it features 170 rooms and suites.
As with all luxury hotels of the kind, they offer splendid local cuisine, a fitness center, and a high-speed wireless internet connection.
Most prominently, both hotels possess professional security that helps reassure all guests of their safety.
Finally, we used to recommend the Lagos Continental Hotel as the go-to, but ownership changed and now it is no longer under the chain. Still, they kept the same design, although there is definitely a feel of the change in the level of service, and we still put this as plan B for some clients.
We also work with clients who use the Eko hotel, which we advise against due to the market in their parking area.
The Takeaways on Nigeria Travel Risks
We have discovered how CSO firms and businesspeople operating in the country can save themselves from Nigeria travel risks. Following this simple yet life-saving advice is crucial when traveling to less-regulated corners of the world.
Information is power, and business individuals with the right information are prepared to complete their tasks productively. Moreover, they are better equipped to hire the best EP teams.
To know how to discern the relevant data from all the rest is a game-changer in the executive protection industry. Consequently, choosing the best-suited EP company becomes a priority.
In conclusion, our advice to all executives, CSOs, and CPOs traveling to Nigeria is this:
- Suggest the hotel and determine relevant accommodation requirements well in advance,
- Organize transportation from point A to point B by checking congestion issues and looking for safe roads,
- Prepare for deficient parking lots,
- Use the MOPOL service while traveling to certain areas,
- Contact a respected professional security company.