ARRIVAL THINGS TO KNOw
If you arrive in Abuja by plane, always keep your baggage claim tickets with you, just in case your luggage gets lost. Remember to have an extra change of clothes and a few toiletries in your hand luggage. When you exit the airport, the airport staff will check your baggage tickets to ensure you have the right baggage and that no one else is taking yours.
When coming to stay at a hotel in Abuja City, you are advised to write the hotel address on your suitcase label and we advise you to always clearly label your suitcases with your contact details.
Be sure to always keep an eye on your luggage while travelling. Never leave your luggage unattended in a public place. We advise that you let official uniformed staff help with your luggage. If you are travelling with your spouse, a business partner or friend please help each other with your suitcases and keep an eye out for each other.
Before travelling to Abuja, it is a good idea to make a set of photocopies of your passport, credit cards, flight tickets, any medical prescriptions and other important documents. Take these copies with you, but keep them separately from the originals.
You can also scan your important travel documents and e-mail them to your own webmail account. This ensures that you have a copy of your documents that cannot be lost and is readily available throughout your trip.
IN CASE OF THEFT
One of the most common crimes experienced by travellers around the world is bag snatching and the theft of cash/credit cards etc. Unfortunately, Abuja City is no exception. Pickpockets often work in groups in crowded areas like the open markets which we do not advise you to go to.
Should you experience the unfortunate situation of getting robbed, stay as calm as possible and do as you are told. Hand over your money and any other valuables without protesting. If you have been robbed, you should contact your country’s embassy or consulate in Abuja City as soon as possible – call the Police if you need assistance.
International flights to the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport are offered by several airlines, notably, British Airways, KLM, Luftansa and Virgin. If arriving from the US, Delta Air Lines has a direct flight from Atlanta. Many visitors fly through connecting flights from Lagos. Reliable domestic airlines are Aero Contractors, Arik Air and Chanchangi. From the airport, you are best advised to take the official Green Cabs. You are advised not to share a cab with anyone you don’t know.
You can travel to Abuja by bus from major cities like Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt. Reliable services include: ABC Transport (air conditioned luxury coaches), Ekene Dili Chukwu, Chisco Transport (CTN) and Young Shall Grow. The preferred bus service would be ABC transport. However, you are advised to make day time bus
journeys only from Lagos or Kano. Be aware that bus trips have safety issues (remote possibility of being attacked by robbers).
If you are unfamiliar with the country, do not take a bus without an escort. It is not all doom and gloom, On the up side Buses do allow you to appreciate the terrain, the towns and cities and the subtle changes in these and culture as you drive towards the capital either from the South or the North. Journey time from Lagos to Abuja City is approximately 8 hours.
On the plane, you will be required to fill in an immigration form that will be kept by the immigration officials. You will need to show your valid passport with a visa for Nigeria upon entering the country. There are free trolleys at the baggage claim area and baggage handlers available to assist you with tour baggage. Be prepared to tip them about N100 for a trolley.
Employment Opportunities for Spouses
Spouses are technically allowed to work only if they are issued a work permit from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. To get a work permit, spouses will need a letter of invitation from the company hiring them. They will also need to provide verification that the employer has agreed to add them to their official quota for foreign employees. The most opportunities exist for technical jobs such as doctors, engineers, nurses and teachers. Occasionally, job opportunities with diplomatic missions and other international organisations arise. These are mostly clerical or secretarial work.
EMBASSY/HIGH COMMISSION REGISTRATION
It is important for visitors who plan to spend more than just a few weeks in Nigeria to register with their Embassies and/or High Commissions. Registration is good for both social and safety reasons. Some Embassies invite their nationals to attend special events (national day, visit of dignitaries, etc) and they need to know how to contact you to let you know about these opportunities. Likewise, some Embassies have a “warden” system establishment alert their citizens on general safety issues. The warden system can also be used to contact you in the event of a personal emergency. Registration is a simple process that should not take more than a few minutes. Be sure to bring your passport and local contact information, including contact information via a neighbour and/or friend who might be able to help you in an emergency. The locations and phone numbers of the High Commissioners and Embassies in Nigeria are located at the end of this section.