Instructions for visiting Nigeria
Advice to visitor arriving at or departing from
Murtala Mohammed International Airport

A. Arrivals

All passengers arriving during the darkness hours at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMI) will be met by the SPDC Airport Liaison Officer immediately after immigration and custom's formalities have been completed. The Liaison Officer will be recognisable by his Shell security identity card and will be carrying a large Shell sign. Normally, he will be assisted by representatives of Shell's travel agent 'Bon Voyage'.

On no account should arriving passengers entrust themselves or their luggage to the care of any other persons not identifiable as Shell employees or their agents. Avoid unsolicited assistance and touts and never leave your luggage unattended.

The Liaison Officer will direct arriving passengers to the shuttle buss or such vehicle designated to convey passengers into Lagos city and will provide information on accommodation etc. There will always be at least two Nigerian Police Force (NPF) patrol teams at the airport who will form the escort during the journey into Lagos. The need for additional patrol teams will be dictated by the volume of traffic as advised by the Passage Department.

In view of the prevailing security situation, all passengers arriving at MMI must wait for the escort and on no account attempt to make the journey into Lagos independently. Passengers who have collected their baggage and cleared customs formalities will have to wait for other remaining passengers before departure from the airport under escort will be permitted. This inconvenience is regretted but is, however, necessary if we are to ensure the safety and security of passengers in the event of attack, vehicle breakdown, or accident, as well as facilitating easy passage through possible police road blocks. All vehicles of the escort teams are fitted with radios and are in constant communication with each other as well as with the control centre in Shell’s Freeman House in Lagos. Before departure for Lagos, the senior police NCO will introduce himself to passengers and give a short briefing.

In the event of vehicle breakdown, the security control centre will be contacted to render immediate assistance. If, in the unlikely event that you arrive at MMI without previous notification, and there is no meeting service or Shell presence, please call security control for assistance on Tel.No. ‡‡‡‡‡‡‡ or ‡‡‡‡‡‡‡. (There were, of course, no mobile phones in Nigeria at the time.)

B. Departures

As a matter of principle, all passengers travelling out of the country are expected to be at the International Airport before dark. A police escort is not normally provided during daylight hours for departing passengers on their journey from Lagos to the airport. Any exception to this rule must obtain approval of the SPDC Security Advisor or Head of Security in Lagos.

Departing passengers will be instructed of the appropriate airport check-in time which varies according to Airline.

Passengers who travel to the airport after dark without clearance do so at their own risk.

  1. C. Response to the Unexpected

1. Loss of Police Escort
In the unlikely event that the police escort becomes detached from the convoy of SPDC vehicles, drivers are to be instructed to proceed directly to assigned accommodation whilst ensuring that security control in Freeman House is informed of the vehicles location at frequent intervals. Attempts should be made to make contact with the escort vehicles by radio.

2. Breakdown or Accident
In the event of a breakdown or accident involving the immobilisation of a passenger-carrying vehicle attached to the convoy, the police vehicle will contact by radio the security control centre at Freeman House to request emergency assistance which will comprise a relief vehicle and possible police reinforcements. At no time will the convoy be permitted to drive to Lagos city without the appropriate police escort.

3. Interception at Police Road Blocks
Although road blocks have been suspended, their reintroduction could occur at any time. If this occurs, it is stressed that courtesy and patience should be used in dealings with the enquiring officers to minimise any delays.

4. Threat from Armed Robbers or Car Thieves
In the unlikely event of an attack, passengers are advised to comply with the following simple rules:
a) Do not panic.
b) Do not retaliate.
c) Do as you are told.
d) Do not show hostility.
e) Be alert and observant.
f) This is not a good time to make jokes about developing countries.

D. General

First time visitors should be aware that Nigeria is undergoing a period of political and social transition and that in a country as large as Nigeria, the possibility of some civil disturbances cannot be ruled out.

It is recognised that most first time visitors to Nigeria are apprehensive about the security situation, which is understandable. The intention of this note is to allay fears by reassuring intending visitors that SPDC has taken steps to provide appropriate security and will continue to review the prevailing situation with a view to ensuring that security is maintain