Armed groups kidnapped at least 3,620 people across Nigeria between July 2022 and June 2023, and a ransom of N5 billion was requested in the same period, a new report by a Lagos-based security and political risk research firm has shown.
The report, The Economics of Nigeria’s Kidnap Industry released last week, was conducted by SBM Intelligence.
The report detailed how security issues in Nigeria have become more prevalent across all six geopolitical zones and how the kidnap-for-ransom scheme has become the dominant motivation for kidnapping due to Nigeria’s struggling economy, rising inflation and high unemployment rates.
The report which was published last week, noted that 3,620 people were abducted in 582 kidnap-related incidents in Nigeria.
It further revealed that of the N5 billion ($6,410,256 as of June 30, 2023) that were reported to have been demanded as ransom, verified fingers shows that N302 million ($387,179), or six per cent of what was demanded was paid as ransom in the year period.
The report therefore explained that the total figures it verified could be higher, faulting incidents of underreporting of the cases.
“However, this figure could be higher due to underreporting. Kidnap dynamics differ between individual and community cases, with secrecy less prevalent in larger-scale abductions.
“In some instances, kidnappers opt for non-monetary ransom, like foodstuff. Notably, the Northwest Northcentral regions exhibit higher numbers of in-kind ransom demands,” the report said.