Gunmen in Nigeria kidnapped at least 3,620 people and demanded a ransom of N5 billion between July 2022 and June 2023, a new report has shown.
SBM Intelligence, a Lagos-based security and political risk research company, conducted the findings titled “The Economics of Nigeria’s Kidnap Industry” which was published last week.
According to the report, a total of 570 people were killed within the year period.
The report took in-depth on Nigeria’s polarised security challenges, which are now more common across all six geopolitical zones. It also emphasised how abduction has increasingly become motivated by the kidnap-for-ransom plan as a result of Nigeria’s troubled economy, growing inflation, and high unemployment rates.
According to the report, 582 kidnapping-related occurrences resulted in the abduction of 3,620 people in Nigeria.
The index disclosed was that according to verifiable evidence, N302 million ($387,179), or 6 per cent of the entire ransom demand of N5 billion ($6,410,256 as of 30 June 2023), was paid over the course of the year.
The report blamed instances of underreporting, noting that the overall figures it validated could potentially be higher.
“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.