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Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Damning Description Of How US Embassy Portrays Nigeria On Its Website

Damning Description Of How US Embassy Portrays Nigeria On Its Website

The United States Embassy has portrayed Nigeria in a very bad light and it is quite disheartening and at same time a call to duty for the Nigerian government.

The US embassy on its website, according to Vanguard has the following assessment and report on Nigeria.

Nigerian Health States

The US embassy confirmed Nigeria has well-trained health professionals but lacks good health facility; notably the absence of required medications in the health facilities.

On its website, the embassy noted; “Nigeria has a number of well-trained doctors, yet medical facilities are generally poor. Many medicines are unavailable, including medications for diabetes and hypertension.

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“Caution should be taken when purchasing medicines locally, as counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a common problem and may be difficult to distinguish from genuine medications. Hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

“Emergency services comparable to those in the United States or Europe are non-existent, and the blood supply is unreliable and unsafe for transfusion. For serious medical problems, you should consider travelling to the United States, Europe, or South Africa for treatment.

“U.S. citizens should dial 112 in case of an emergency. Emergency numbers may not be reliable.

“Ambulance services are not present throughout the country or are unreliable in most areas.

“Adequate health facilities are available in major cities, but health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards; Public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies; Private hospitals usually require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient; Generally, in public hospitals, only minimal staff are available overnight (in non-emergency wards).”

The embassy comments on Nigerian water is also nothing to write home about. It noted that; “No areas [in Nigeria] have safe tap water.

Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although; “You should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.”

Air pollution is also a significant problem identified by the embassy to be a major problem in several major cities in Nigeria.

Nigeria Road Conditions and Safety

“Roads are generally in poor condition, causing damage to vehicles and contributing to hazardous traffic conditions. There are few working traffic lights or stop signs, and few traffic control officers to manage traffic during power outages.

The rainy season, generally from May to October, is especially dangerous because of flooded roads and water-concealed potholes.”

Nigerian drivers drive on the wrong side of the road

“Driving between 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. should be done with extreme caution. Automobiles, trucks, or “okadas” (motorbikes) often drive on the wrong side of the road or on sidewalks.”
Nigerian Traffic Control Officers Seek Bribes

“Traffic control officers may occasionally seek bribes when citing drivers for traffic violations. If stopped by traffic police, drivers should stop as instructed.”

The embassy also advised its citizens to avoid driving any traffic police to the police station.

“Do not pay any bribes. If requested to drive an officer to the police station, do not do so, especially at night as some traffic police are imposters.”

In spite of Nigeria being the largest producer of oil in Africa, the long queues at the filling stations did not go unnoticed by the embassy.

“Motorists seldom yield the right-of-way and give little consideration to pedestrians and cyclists. Chronic fuel shortages have led to long lines at service stations, which disrupt or block traffic for extended periods,” it stated on its website.

Avoid Public Transportation it is not safe

On its website, the embassy recommended avoiding public transportation throughout Nigeria.

“Public transportation vehicles, such as buses and motorbikes, are unsafe due to poor maintenance, high speeds, and overcrowding.”

All of these are in addition to the serious warning the embassy issued to its citizens considering travelling to Nigeria.

On October 29, 2019, the embassy released a press statement advising its citizens to reconsider travelling to Nigeria.

“Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime, which includes kidnappings, hijackings, boardings, theft, etc. Some areas have increased risk.”

The embassy listed some states it also strongly advised against visiting if at all their citizens are in Nigeria.

“Do Not Travel to: Borno and Yobe States and Northern Adamawa State due to terrorism; Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, and Yobe states due to kidnapping; Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta, and Rivers states (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, and maritime crime”

It summarized Nigeria’s security thus; “Violent crime – such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, and rape – is common throughout the country. Exercise extreme caution throughout the country due to the threat of indiscriminate violence.”

Vanguard

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