The US State Department has warned its nationals to reconsider travelling to Nigeria due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed gangs.

The travel advisory also cautioned that the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to its citizens in many areas of Nigeria due to insecurity.

The notice dated September 20 listed at least eighteen states, half the number of states in the West African country, as ‘Do Not Travel Areas’ due to heightened risk.

It also said that should any of its citizens decide to visit Nigeria, they should carry proper identification, including an American passport with a current Nigerian visa, show caution when walking or driving at night, and have evacuation plans that do not rely on US government assistance.

“Do not physically resist any robbery attempt, be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs and stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners,” it said.

Insecurity is rampant in many parts of Nigeria. Gunmen abducted 24 female students from a university in Zamfara state on Friday, two days after the travel advisory was issued. The northwestern state is one of those listed in the advisory as a no go area.

The travel advisory was issued when Nigerian President Bola Tinubu was on a visit to New York where he attended the UN General Assembly meetings.

Tinubu also held meetings where he invited investors to his country, where he is carrying out economic reforms. He has also previously pledged to tackle insecurity in Nigeria.

(Editing by Seban Scaria