Usually, when a country issues travel advisory updates to its citizens, it is to ensure that they can conduct their business safely in another country. These recommendations are made as each nation has a responsibility to ensure the safety of its people, and often carry specific guidelines addressing the state of health implications on travel or other pressing matters.
Reports of insecurity, on the other hand, can bring about a total “do not travel” recommendation-the most severe of all. Overall travel advisory levels range in increased severity with level 1 being the lowest and 4 the most severe. Level 1 requires travellers to exercise normal precautions while level 2 advises travellers to exercise increased caution and level 3 advises travellers to reconsider travel. Level 4 being the most severe, enjoins travellers not to travel to intended locations at all.
Currently, Nigeria has been placed on a level 3 travel advisory whereby travellers are advised to reconsider travel to the country. This is a countrywide alert, while certain parts of the country have been designated with a level 4 status. This includes the northwest region comprising Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara states. The northeastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa and Yobe have all been placed on a do not travel recommendation by the U.S consulate, Canadian Consulate and UK foreign office.
Nonetheless, one cannot help but establish a link between a subsequent drop in foreign direct investments owing to the country’s poor state of security. Much as we would like to wish these problems away, they require quick and decisive action.
Security is vital to the sovereignty of any nation. In addition to the safety which citizens deserve, foreigners also need to feel safe in the pursuit of their business endeavors. The stability of a country also allows it to appear more attractive to investors as uncertainty erodes confidence. Not to mention doubts that the investor’s funds are safe and not prone to disruption by crime, banditry and other risks.
To curb all of this, Nigeria needs to invest more heavily in technology, increased border patrols and other proactive measures. COVID-19 and its implications have shown just how vital foreign direct investments are for nations to thrive. In the midst of the downturn brought about by the pandemic, there is a need to minimize the loss of potential investments as these contribute directly to our economic growth.
By Ogodilieze Osaji-Ugo