Nigeria Security Threats

Data and information about security threats from Nigeria’s black market. Intelligence and security information collected from government agencies, news articles and other public data sources.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, there were 48 pirate attacks in Indonesia in the first six months of 2013.

Nigeria had 22 pirate attacks, up from the 6 attacks in all of 2011.

Pirates reportedly attacked 4 ships off the coast of Somalia, compared to the 125 attacks in 2011.

In 2012, sea piracy activities off the coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea costs shipping companies up to $2 Billion.

Source:  Associated Press, “Piracy watchdog reports worrying surge in attacks, kidnapping, armed robbery in Gulf of Guinea,” Washington Post, July 15, 2013.

As of July 2013, there were around 400 Nigerians who were serving jail time in China’s prisons, according to the Nigerian Ambassador to China.

80 percent of those serving time, or around 300, were serving time in China for drug trafficking offenses.

In addition, 80 percent of the crimes in China that are committed by people from Africa are committed by people from Nigeria, according to the Ambassador.

Source:  Muhammad Bello, “Nigeria: Wali – 300 Nigerians Held in Chinese Prisons for Drug Trafficking,” allAfrica, July 9, 2013.

According to statistics collected by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), there were 33 pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Nigeria in 2010. In 2012, the number of attacks increased to 58.

Shipping security analysts state that the number of pirate attacks are under-reported. According to security consultants, at least one pirate attack is taking place each day, with the forecast showing that up to 2 may occur in 2013.

The number of pirate attacks off the coast of Nigeria comes as the number of pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia decreased in 2012. Somali pirates attacked 75 vessels in 2012. In the first five months of 2013, only 1 attack has been registered by the IMB.

Due to its developed oil industry, experts believe that pirates in Nigeria are able to make in 10 days what pirates in Somalia make in 10 months.

Source:  Joe Bavier, “INSIGHT-Nigerian pirate gangs extend reach off West Africa,” Reuters, May 29, 2013.


The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Nigeria reported that the prevalence rate of counterfeit drugs in the country was at 6 percent in 2013. The rate was down from16.7 percent over the previous five years.

Officials in Nigeria state that most of the fake drugs originate from China.

Source:  Francis Kokutse, “Unlike India, China not helping Nigeria stop fake drugs’,” New York Daily News, May 15, 2013.

Security officials in Nigeria reported that they destroyed 748 illegal refineries in the region in the first four months of 2013. In addition to breaking down the refineries, the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta arrested 498 suspects who were involved in oil theft and oil bunkering. 55 suspected kidnappers were also arrested during the operations.

545 boats, 26 barges and 18 vessels were also seized.

Source:  “Nigeria: Oil Theft – JTF Destroys 748 Illegal Refineries, Arrests 498 Suspects,” All Africa, May 7, 2013.

Oil company Royal Dutch Shell said that over 90 percent of oil spills from pipelines and other operations in Nigeria during 2012 were due to acts of sabotage. In its annual sustainability report, the company reported that around 26,000 barrels of oil were spilled in Nigeria.

During 2009 to 2012, Shell estimates that 85 percent oil spills in Nigeria was due to theft and attempted theft.

Source:  Richard Blackden, “Shell demands Nigeria do more to stop rising oil theft,” Telegraph, April 12, 2013.

In the first three months of 2013, there were 66 reported attacks by sea pirates around the world. The number of attacks in the first quarter of 2013 was down 35 percent from the 102 attacks during the first quarter of 2012.

Between January to March 2013, there were 5 attacks in Somalia, down from 36 cases in 2012.

In the Gulf Region, there were a reported 15 pirate attacks and 3 hijackings during the first quarter of 2013.

In Nigeria, there were 11 pirate attacks in the first three months of 2013.

Source:  Associated Press, “World Sea Piracy Down 35 Percent in First Quarter,” ABC News, April 15, 2013.

Italian oil company Eni reported in March 2013 that it was suspending operations in Southern Nigeria due to rampant oil theft and sabotage.

The company was producing up between 35,000 and 40,000 barrels of oil per day in its oil fields in Bayelsa. Bunkering activities were causing losses of up to 60 percent of the oil production.

Source:  AFP, “Italy’s ENI curbs activities in Nigeria due to oil theft,” Google News, March 23, 2013.

Between the years of 2000 to 2012, security officials in Norway arrested 1,585 Nigerians for drug trafficking crimes. In 2012 alone, there were 432 Nigerians arrested for drug trafficking in the country.

Source:  Eguene Agha, “Nigeria: 1,585 Nigerians Arrested in Norway Over Drug Trafficking,” AllAfrica, March 20, 2013.

The Country Manager for Microsoft Nigeria stated to the media that companies were losing up to 80 percent of their profits due to software piracy in the country. In addition to the lost profit, companies and consumers were force to spend additional time and money in addressing the security problems raised from pirated, unlicensed software.

Officials from Microsoft calculate that consumers in Nigeria would spend 1.5 billion hours dealing with pirated software in 2013. They will also spend up to $22 Billion repairing issues arising from malware that is able to infect computers from unlicensed software.

Source:  Adeyemi Adepetun and Gbenga Salau, “‘Firms lose 80 per cent of profits to piracy, others’,” Guardian (Nigeria), March 10, 2013.