The 7 Most Unfriendly Countries for Nigerians
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Business - Travel - July 27, 2023

The 7 Most Unfriendly Countries for Nigerians

As global citizens, many Nigerians aspire to explore the world, embracing diverse cultures and experiences beyond their homeland’s borders. However, like travelers from any nation, they may encounter challenges when venturing abroad especially for international students. Some countries have gained a reputation for being less welcoming to Nigerian travelers, often resulting from isolated incidents or broader geopolitical factors.

In recent times, a concerning trend has emerged involving the exploitation, racist behavior, and tragic killings of Nigerians by locals in foreign countries. Regrettably, justice has often been elusive in many of these cases, leading to increased frustration and disappointment. Additionally, the Nigerian government has faced criticism for not fulfilling its duty in seeking justice and protection for its young citizens who have been affected by these unfortunate incidents. Let’s look at some of the countries that appear unfriendly to the Nigerian populace.


India, a country known for its rich history and diverse culture, has unfortunately gained a reputation for being unfriendly towards Nigerians and other African students. Recent accounts reveal a darker side, with racism and discrimination prevalent against Nigerians and others looking to study all over Africa. 

A young Nigerian pursuing agriculture studies in India shared a distressing experience, where academic facilities were lacking, and locals displayed hostility, refusing to lease homes to them. Xenophobic attacks on black nationals have been reported. Despite India’s reputation as a fast-developing country, the hostile environment has left many Nigerians regretting their choice to study there. As the number of African students in India increases, it is imperative for the nation to address these issues and foster inclusivity and acceptance for all international students.


Cyprus, a country divided into south and north, has a disturbing reality of racism and hostility towards Nigerians. Google searches on “Nigerian students in Cyprus” reveal numerous negative stories, from killings to harrowing experiences endured in pursuit of education. Racism is not limited to Cyprus alone, Eastern European countries have also recorded instances of racial discrimination against black students. Although conditions have improved over the years, the hostility remains a real concern for many African students studying in these countries.

South Africa

Although South Africa is an African country, it has sadly become a hostile region for Nigerians over the past decade. The country has been marred by persistent xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other black nationals, resulting in tragic loss of life. Despite the seriousness of the issue, some believe that the Nigerian government’s response has been inadequate.

In 2017, a 25-year-old Nigerian student, Ibrahim Olalekan-Badmus, was reportedly killed by South African policemen in Vaal Vereeniging, near Johannesburg. The attacks left Nigerian students in South Africa living in fear, with xenophobia being their primary concern. During such attacks, they feel compelled to hide like criminals to avoid becoming victims. 


Over the years, Malaysia, a Southeast Asian country, has seen a significant increase of Nigerians, making it an appealing destination for higher education. However, the once-friendly atmosphere has undergone a transformation, leading to a less welcoming environment for Nigerians. Some analysts attribute this change to cases involving Nigerian internet scammers, which may have influenced the country’s perception of Nigerians.

Tragically, last year, a Nigerian student named Uju Pious Ejikeonye lost his life by jumping from the 13th floor of a building in an attempt to escape Malaysian immigration arrest. This incident, along with other reported cases of alleged killings, extortion, and harassment of Nigerians by the police, has raised serious concerns.The Malaysian chapter of Nigeria in Diaspora Organization has condemned these actions, denouncing the mistreatment of Nigerians living in Malaysia. 


Ukraine, another Eastern European nation, has witnessed similar challenges for Nigerian and international students seeking education. Racist behavior towards blacks, including Nigerians, has been reported, though not as deadly as some other countries. Language barriers and adverse weather conditions pose additional hardships. The deaths of two Nigerian students in 2014 at the Donetsk National Technical University, allegedly due to hospital negligence, have raised concerns. Although the hostility has diminished somewhat, racism remains a significant problem for Nigerians studying in Ukraine.


Despite being an Eastern European country, Russia has not been a welcoming destination for Nigerians. Reports reveal instances of racism and hostility towards black students, including Nigerians. The language barrier and harsh weather conditions add to the challenges faced by Africans.

Between 2007 and 2012, 204 racist attacks were recorded, resulting in 16 deaths, primarily targeting Asians and Africans. Moreover, Nigerian students on the Bilateral Education Agreement in Russia have shared accounts of racism and even knife attacks. Although hostilities have somewhat decreased, racism remains a concerning issue, leaving many Nigerians feeling unsafe and unsupported.


Turkey, situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, has offered mixed experiences for Nigerian students pursuing education in the country. While some students find the environment welcoming and enriching, others have encountered challenges, including instances of racism and discrimination. Language barriers and cultural differences can also add to the difficulties faced by Africans.

Like in many countries, there have been reports of xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other black nationals. The situation is not uniform across the country, as experiences can vary depending on the region and individual circumstances.

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