FG frowns at U.S. govt’s travel advisory, says it’s hurtful

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has faulted recent travel advisory by the United States, saying it could cause unnecessary panic and hurt the economy.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, at a parley with senior journalists in Abuja, yesterday said such advisories would only create needless panic.

“Such advisories do not achieve anything other than needless panic, and they can have severe adverse economic impact, not to talk of what they do to undermine government’s efforts to attract investment.”

Idris insisted that the Federal Government has consistently prioritised the safety and well-being of all visitors to the country, and has also “implemented comprehensive security measures at federal and state levels, to ensure the safety of tourists and international guests”.

He said the measures include “intense intelligence gathering, acquisition and deployment of additional platforms, training and re-training of personnel, cooperation with international law and enforcement agencies to maintain a secure environment”.

The United States and the United Kingdom had issued security alerts warning their citizens of an elevated threat to major hotels in Nigeria.

The warnings came ahead of gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states, scheduled to hold on Saturday.

In a statement issued on November 3, the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria said it had “credible information” that there was an elevated threat to major hotels in Nigeria’s larger cities.

The statement advised U.S. citizens to “exercise vigilance” and “consider avoiding major hotels altogether” in the days leading up to and during the elections.

Also, UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued a travel advisory on November 4, advising against all but essential travels to Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi.

The FCDO equally advised against all travels to Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and the riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States.

Speaking, yesterday, on the efforts by security agencies to arrest the situation, the minister assured of government’s dedication to ensuring the safety and well-being of all Nigerians and visitors to the country.

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