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.

The Government of Nigeria estimates that it is losing up to $6 Billion a year to oil theft and oil smuggling on the black market. The Nigerian Government wants international help in cracking down on the money laundering of stolen proceeds.

Oil industry companies such as Shell state that thieves are also sabotaging pipelines to steal oil.

Source:  AFP, “Nigeria wants world’s help to slow massive oil theft,” Google News, February 19, 2013.

In December 2012, South Korean company Hyundai Heavy Industries reportedly paid $192,100 in ransom to release six workers who had been kidnapped and held hostage.

The leader of the kidnapping gang told the police that he used his share of the ransom to purchase electronic devices such as DVD players.

Kidnapping for ransom is a highly profitable activity for criminal gangs in the Niger Delta.

Source:  Isaac Abrak, “Nigerian police say Hyundai paid some $190,000 for hostages,” Reuters, January 4, 2013.

In 2012, the average ransom demand by militants in Nigeria for kidnapping hostages was $490,000, based on reported accounts. The average amount of ransom eventually paid to the kidnappers after negotiations was brought down to $50,000.

Source:  Associated Press, “Kidnapping of Nigeria finance minister’s mother sign of increasing ransom abductions in nation,” Washington Post, December 10, 2012.


The Nigerian Ambassador to Mali stated in November 2012 that between 20 to 30 girls from Nigeria are being trafficked to Mali everyday. The Ambassador stated that some of the victims of human trafficking from Nigeria were between the ages of 10 to 15.

Between August 2012 and November 2012, the Nigerian embassy assisted at least 30 girls who were victims of human trafficking return to Nigeria.

(See prices of human trafficking victims.)

Source:  “Trafficking Of Nigerians Worries Ambassador,” PM News, November 12, 2012.

A report in October 2012 stated that up to 180,000 barrels of oil was being stolen each day in Nigeria. Based on the price of oil at the time of the report, the country was losing $6 Billion a year to oil theft.

90 percent of the oil stolen from Nigeria is smuggled to foreign countries, such as Ukraine, Serbia or Bulgaria or refined in Singapore. 10 percent of the oil is refined locally by gangs.

Source:  “Stolen Nigeria oil ‘goes to Balkans and Singapore’,” BBC News, October 23, 2012.

In June 2012, officials with oil companies and the Nigerian Government were reporting that over $1 Billion in oil revenue were being lost to the oil being stolen.

In 5 months, security services in Nigeria shut down over 900 illegal oil refineries across the country.

Source:  Heather Murdock, “In Niger Delta, Black-Market Oil Booms,” Voice of America, June 28, 2012.

According to the Chairman of a Nigerian publishing company, book piracy activities in the country causes $125 Million (20 Billion Nigerian Naira) in losses to domestic publishing houses each year.

Books that are published in Nigeria are taken outside of the country and illegally copied and sold across Africa.

In the United States, the latest available figures on book piracy showed that $600 Million was lost to pirated books.

Source: Mohammed Shosanya, “Nigeria: Book Publishers Loses N20 Billion Annually to Piracy,” allAfrica, May 24, 2012.

As of May 14, 2012, oil company Royal Dutch Shell reported that it was losing up to 43,000 barrels of oil per day in Nigeria to oil theft activities. The company also reported that over three-fourths of oil spills that occurred in the country last year was the direct result of sabotage to the company’s pipelines.

In total, up to 150,000 barrels of oil is lost each day to “bunkering,” or theft by oil smuggling syndicates.

Source:  Tim Cocks, “Shell says losing 43,000 bpd to Nigeria oil theft,” Reuters, May 14, 2012.

The United Nations estimates that between 8,000 to 10,000 women from Nigeria are trafficked into the prostitution industry in Italy every year.

The Nigerian women are forced to have sex with customers at prices at low as $13 per transaction. In order to quit being a prostitute, women are forced to repay their pimps between $40,000 to $78,000.

(More human trafficking prices of victims.)

Source:  Jill Craig, “Nigerians Become Most Trafficked Into Italy’s Sex Trade,” Voice of America, May 4, 2012.

Additional prostitution stats and prices available in our ebook:

Nigeria’s Minister of Youth Development stated in January 2012 that there were up to 1,000 Nigerian minors serving jail time in China for drug smuggling crimes.

Source: Mustafa Abubakar, “1,000 Youths Jailed in China for Drug Offences – Minister,” All Africa, January 23, 2012.