In a move prompted by the recent fire incident at the Canadian High Commission in Abuja, the
mission has announced the suspension of its operations until further notice. This suspension has
significant implications for visa and immigration services, as well as consular assistance to
Canadians residing in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe.
The decision to halt operations was communicated through the High Commission’s official
Twitter account late on Monday night, underscoring the seriousness of the situation. The
statement read, “The High Commission of Canada to #Nigeria, in #Abuja, has temporarily
suspended operations until further notice. For consular assistance, contact our 24/7 Emergency
Watch and Response Centre.”
This development comes against the backdrop of growing security concerns in Nigeria,
prompting both Canada and the United States to issue travel advisories for their citizens.
The Government of Canada, in its travel advisory posted on November 6, 2023, strongly
cautioned its citizens against non-essential travel to Nigeria, particularly Abuja, due to the
“unpredictable security situation throughout the country” and the “significant risk of terrorism,
crime, inter-communal clashes, armed attacks, and kidnappings.” This advisory update reflects
the volatile security landscape in Nigeria and the urgent need for heightened caution.
Furthermore, the advisory explicitly warned Canadian citizens to avoid several Nigerian states,
including Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Plateau, Kogi, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno,
Gombe, Jigawa, Yobe, and the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo.
The advisory makes an exception for Rivers’ capital city, Port Harcourt, where non-essential
travel is discouraged.
The United States had already issued warnings to its citizens in Nigeria on November 3, 2023,
highlighting the growing security risks and urging heightened vigilance.
The Canadian High Commission’s suspension of operations serves as a stark indicator of the
concerns over safety and security in Nigeria. It remains to be seen when the mission will resume
its services, but for now, Canadians and visa applicants in Nigeria are left to navigate these
challenging circumstances with the help of the 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
As the security situation continues to evolve, diplomatic missions, foreign governments, and the
international community will closely monitor the developments in Nigeria, with the hope of a
return to stability and safety in the region.