The United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has updated its money advisory on the naira scarcity in Nigeria.
In the update, posted on its website, the UK FCDO advised its citizens in Nigeria to take precautions when visiting banks and automated teller machines (ATMs) in the country, as there have been a “spike in criminal activities” in such places.
“Nationwide elections will take place in Nigeria on 25 February and 11 March 2023. Movement restrictions may be enforced during this period, especially on election days, and there is a heightened risk of protests and violence.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed the redesign and issue of new N200, N500 and N1’000 Naira notes. This has led to shortages of cash, which are likely to persist for a period. You are encouraged to check notes provided by currency exchange vendors will be valid for the duration of your travel to Nigeria, and to follow local CBN guidelines.
“Areas such as banks and ATMs have seen a spike in criminal activity, and as such, it is advised that you take extra precautions, particularly when withdrawing cash in crowded spaces, and during nighttime hours.
“There have been outbreaks of violence in South West Nigeria as a result of cash shortages, and there is a risk of other urban areas being impacted across the country.
We advise travellers in Nigeria to exercise their judgement, including being aware of any large crowds or potential disturbances.”