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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Safety precautions in Lagos

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Lagos is a vibrant and bustling city, and like any other major city, it’s important to take certain safety precautions to ensure your well-being. With that you can be sure to enjoy the panoramic nature of Lagos – the centre of excellence.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when visiting or living in Lagos:

  1. Be cautious with your belongings: Keep your valuables, such as wallets, smartphones, and jewelry, secure and out of sight. Avoid displaying large sums of cash in public. Be wary of pickpockets in crowded areas and always keep an eye on your belongings. When in traffic jam / go-slow, try and wind up your vehicle glasses.
  2. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings: Lagos can be busy and chaotic, so it’s crucial to stay vigilant. Pay attention to your surroundings, especially in crowded places, markets, and public transportation. Avoid isolated areas, particularly at night.
  3. Use reliable transportation: If possible, opt for reputable transportation options like registered taxis or ride-hailing services. Uber and Bolt are common in Lagos and there are government-owned buses popularly called BRT. Ensure that the vehicle is in good condition and has proper identification markings. Avoid using unmarked or unofficial taxis, especially at night.
  4. Plan your routes in advance: Before venturing out, plan your routes and familiarize yourself with the area. Stick to well-known and well-lit streets. If you’re unsure about a specific location, consider asking locals or hotel staff for advice. Google Map and InstantStreetView are good companions in Lagos.
  5. Be cautious of scams: Beware of common scams, such as individuals posing as officials, offering unsolicited assistance, or attempting to distract you. Be cautious when approached by strangers, particularly if they seem overly friendly or insistent.
  6. Secure your accommodations: Choose reputable and secure accommodations. Ensure that doors and windows are locked properly, especially at night. If available, use hotel safes to store your valuables. It’s also advisable to check the safety features of the hotel before booking.
  7. Avoid public demonstrations and political gatherings: Political gatherings and demonstrations can sometimes turn violent or escalate quickly. Stay informed about the local political climate and avoid participating in or being near such events.
  8. Stay updated on local news and advisories: Keep an eye on local news, travel advisories, and information from reliable sources to stay informed about any potential safety concerns or security issues in Lagos. There are a number of radio stations that give updates on happenings in Lagos. Consider registering with your embassy or consulate for updates and emergency assistance.
  9. Respect cultural norms and local customs: Familiarize yourself with the local culture, customs, and traditions to avoid inadvertently offending anyone or attracting unnecessary attention. When local festivals like Egungun, Eyo and Oro are announced, get information from locals on the best way to move around. Dress modestly, particularly in more conservative areas.
  10. Trust your instincts: Finally, trust your instincts and use common sense. If a situation feels unsafe or uncomfortable, remove yourself from it. Your intuition is a powerful tool for ensuring your safety.

Remember, while these safety tips can help reduce the risks, it’s important to remain adaptable and responsive to the specific circumstances and environment you find yourself in.

What if your are under attack, what should you do:

  1. Stay Calm: Try to remain as calm as possible, as panic can impair your ability to think clearly and make sound decisions.
  2. Assess the Situation: Quickly assess the situation to determine the nature and severity of the threat. This will help you decide on the best course of action.
  3. Find a Safe Place: If possible, seek refuge in a well-lit and populated area. Look for shops, businesses, or public buildings where you can find help or at least a temporary safe haven.
  4. Call Lagos Emergency for Help: Dial the local emergency number, 112 or 767 to contact law enforcement or emergency services nearest to you. Describe your location and the nature of the threat.
  5. Make Noise: If you’re in a public area, make noise to attract attention and discourage the attacker. Shout for help or create any loud noise to draw the attention of others nearby. Don’t be alarmed if there is no response from people around, just be on top of the situation.
  6. Use Personal Alarms: If you have a personal alarm device, like a whistle, use it to emit a loud sound that can alert others to your situation.
  7. Avoid Confrontation At All Cost: If confronted by an attacker, your primary goal should be to protect yourself and escape. Avoid escalating the situation or trying to fight unless there is no other option. There may be more of the attackers lurking around.
  8. Use Self-Defense Techniques: If you have been trained in self-defense techniques, use them to create an opportunity to escape. Focus on vulnerable areas like the eyes, throat, and groin. Just be mentally alert in all your interventions.
  9. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings: Being aware of your surroundings can help you identify potential threats early and make informed decisions. Learn to pay attention to details around you. Read signs, watch people, watch your back and let your instinct prevail.
  10. Have Emergency Contacts: Keep a list of emergency contacts saved in your phone and written down in case you lose your phone. Memorising emergency contacts can be helpful. These contacts can be family members, friends, or local authorities.
  11. Stay in Communication: If possible, inform someone you trust about your situation and location. This can help ensure that someone knows where you are and can follow up if they don’t hear from you.
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