Nigeria's largest city welcomes business aviation operators with new full-service FBOs. Just be careful moving about on the surface.
The Security Issue
Airport authorities maintain “reasonable security,” Linton said, “but you can hire additional security, which is recommended if staying overnight.” There are different opinions on wheth er supplemental security is necessary in Nigeria. Lane believes that the issues of crime and terrorism in the country are exaggerated and that, at least at the airport, additional security is unnecessary. “An aircraft guard will make you sleep better but will likely get more sleep than you do,” he observed.
Fussell noted that “there were lots of folks loitering . . . airside” at DNMM and recommended hiring additional security for the aircraft. (A representative of African handling agency Landover Aviation confirmed the presence of loiterers on the airport ramp, advising operators they could be approached by various people demanding cash for services. His advice was to deal only with the local representative hired by the operator's handling service, especially if it is necessary to pay for anything on site.) In any event, operators and their security advisors will have to make their own security assessments, with the understanding that if there are any doubts, it is always best to err on the side of caution.
Here's Linton's appraisal of the situation beyond the airport perimeter: “Crime is very high in Lagos. Carjackings, kidnappings, road block robberies [road piracy] and armed break-ins are common. It's been reported that some crooks even impersonate the uniformed police and military. Road travel is dangerous throughout the country. Avoid driving at night, and always use a reliable vehicle contractor vetted by your security company. Taxies and public transportation tend to be old, poorly maintained and generally unsafe. If you will be moving around in major Nigerian cities — any of them — we definitely recommend 'executive protection' [i.e., bodyguards].”
Furthermore, highway conditions throughout Nigeria are generally poor due to lack of maintenance of roads and debris strewn on them, and traffic conditions in the larger cities are often among the worst on the planet. “Get a good driver,” Lane said. “The traffic will rival anything you have ever seen.” Expect a minimum of an hour from the airport to the downtown business district.