Year
Nigeria
x

    Nigeria

    Capital

    Abuja

    Population

    200,963,599

    Area

    923,770 km²

    Geography type

    Coastal

    Gross domestic product (GDP)

    USD 448,120.43 million

    GDP per capita

    $2,230.00

    Income group

    Lower middle income

    7.15-0.55

    Criminality Score

    2nd of 54 African countries

    1st of 15 West Africa countries

    Criminal market

    7.05-0.60

    Human Trafficking

    7.50-1.00

    Human Smuggling

    6.00-1.00

    Arms Trafficking

    8.000.50

    Flora Crimes

    6.00-1.00

    Fauna Crimes

    6.50-1.50

    Non-Renewable Resource Crimes

    8.00-1.00

    Heroin Trade

    6.00-0.50

    Cocaine Trade

    6.500.00

    Cannabis Trade

    8.000.00

    Synthetic Drug Trade

    8.00-0.50

    Criminal Actors

    7.25-0.50

    Mafia-Style Groups

    5.50-0.50

    Criminal Networks

    9.00-0.50

    State-Embedded Actors

    7.50-0.50

    Foreign Actors

    7.00-0.50

    5.50-0.17

    Resilience Score

    6th of 54 African countries

    3rd of 15 West Africa countries

    Political Leadership and Governance

    5.500.00

    Government Transparency and Accountability

    5.00-0.50

    International Cooperation

    7.000.50

    National Policies and Laws

    7.00-1.00

    Judicial System and Detention

    4.500.50

    Law Enforcement

    4.50-1.50

    Territorial Integrity

    4.50-0.50

    Anti-Money Laundering

    5.00-1.00

    Economic Regulatory Capacity

    6.500.50

    Victim and Witness Support

    5.001.00

    Prevention

    5.000.00

    Non-State Actors

    6.500.00

    5.5 7.25 7.05 5.5 7.25 7.05

    5.50-0.17

    Resilience Score

    6th of 54 African countries

    3rd of 15 West Africa countries

    Political Leadership and Governance

    5.500.00

    Government Transparency and Accountability

    5.00-0.50

    International Cooperation

    7.000.50

    National Policies and Laws

    7.00-1.00

    Judicial System and Detention

    4.500.50

    Law Enforcement

    4.50-1.50

    Territorial Integrity

    4.50-0.50

    Anti-Money Laundering

    5.00-1.00

    Economic Regulatory Capacity

    6.500.50

    Victim and Witness Support

    5.001.00

    Prevention

    5.000.00

    Non-State Actors

    6.500.00

    01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09

    People

    Nigerian human trafficking networks are infamous, primarily those engaged in sex trafficking and domestic exploitation, operating in West Africa and Europe. Nigerian networksalso engage in labour trafficking, particularly of children who are exploitedin domestic servitude, street vending, mining and farming all across West Africa.Other forms of human trafficking in Nigeria include increasingly prevalent ‘baby factories’, the recruitment of women and girls for prostitution and widespread forced domestic servitude. Hausa networks operating in the north are involved in transnational sexual and labour trafficking to Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the military has been known to informally recruit underage boys as vigilantes, a practice also common among non-state armed groups using child soldiers.

    Human smuggling is less pervasive than trafficking, as free movement under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol has moderated the need for intra-regional smuggling. Historically, Nigeria has had high and sophisticated levels of migration, facilitated by the large diaspora communities. The market contributes to widespread corruption which enables the procurement of fake travel documents, and the country is a major hub for full-package style smuggling, serving the wider region. Nigerian smuggling networks connect peopleto Europe via Niger, and numerous smugglers operate from Lagos and Benin City.

    Trade

    Nigeria’s location, as well as its particularly porous northern and eastern borders, and access to the ocean in the south, has made it an ideal transit point for the trafficking of small arms and light weapons (SALW). Imports from Turkey and Iran have been recorded, and Boko Haram terrorism, armed movements, piracy and banditry have sustaineddemand. Nigeria has experienced widespread insecurity resulting from banditry, kidnapping, robbery and oil-related violence, often perpetrated using heavy weapons. Many weapons are legitimately procured but diverted into the illicit market from national stockpiles.It is also common for security forces to sell or rent their weapons. Furthermore, since 2011 there has been increased circulation of Libyan stockpiles across the region.

    Environment

    Nigeria has become a major transit hub for wildlife trafficking, particularly for Central African ivory and pangolin scales as well as for donkey hides destined for Vietnam and China, the primarymarkets for wildlife products. Local fauna has been widely destroyed due to the trade, which affects Nigeria’s populations of endangered species, including West African lions, Cross River gorillas, Cameroonian forest shrews and the white-throated and red-eared guenons. Fish stocks have also diminished due to water pollution, overfishing and illegal fishing, making Nigeria one of the largest global importers. There are allegation of local fishing nets being purposefully cut by foreign vessels who take the catch and load it for direct transportation to Europe or Asia, bypassing inspections.With regard to flora crimes,the illegal logging of rosewood in Cross River State is particularly prominent. The fall of crude oil prices coincided with a sudden growth in wood exports, and most wood export revenueisnow generated illegally. The trade in rosewood, known locally as kosso, may have benefited Boko Haram, and a significant amount has been seized by Chinese customs officials. Since then, the trade has declined drastically due to depleted stock.

    Illegal oil bunkering is a problem in Nigeria, with oil stolen directly from pipelines, predominantly in the Niger Delta region, processed through artisanal refineries and then sold locally or smuggled abroad toChina, North Korea, Israel and South Africa, among others. Bunkering operations are professional,and have access to arms and ties to foreign criminal actors who have the means to transport crude oil to refineries in Cameroon, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, before moving it to destination markets. Illegal oil bunkering, as well as piracy and armed robbery at sea, are therefore serious concerns. Additionally, some small-scale illicit gold mining occurs in Nigeria, with local populations vulnerable to exploitation and co-option by Islamist groups.

    Drugs

    Nigeria is an important transit, source and destination marketfor illicit drugs. Afghan heroin is moved through Nigeria en route to Europe,withdomestic networks collaborating with Afghani and Pakistani drug cartels for trafficking and distribution. Aided by corruption,these networks also facilitate the sea transport of heroin directly to Europe, the United States and the Middle East. The domestic heroin market has not grown, due in part to high use of synthetic drugs among the youth,typicallyvery cheap codeine-based cough syrups. The proliferation of psychotropic substances, especially tramadol, amphetamine and codeine, ison the rise, with the port of Lagos serving as a largetransit hub for tramadol shipmentsfrom Benin and India. The drug is distributed domestically, especially to the Edo and Kano states, which are starting points for peopletravelling to Niger. Additionally, Nigerian criminal networks have reportedly collaborated with Mexican cartels to set up crystal meth production facilities, so that methamphetamine originating in Nigeria is now available in South Africa and throughout destination markets in Asia.

    Nigeria is a major global cocaine destination and transshipment point.Its organized criminal groups are key contributors to the globalization of cocaine markets, and they retain a strong influence on the organization and determination of these markets. Nigerian actors control intra-African trade routes, and act as handlers for shipments to markets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, using a diaspora network of co-conspirators. State corruption along with insecurity, particularly in the north, as well as the influence of violent non-state actors,whoare becoming more centrally engaged as criminal competitors in the transiting of cocaine and other illicit drugs to consumer markets, all contribute to the massive cocaine trade. Cocaine, however, is an elitist drug, and as such onlypermeatesspecificlevels of society within Nigeria.Nigeria is also a top regional producer and exporter of cannabis to Europe, enabled by weak control of national borders, corruption as well as by criminal groups with transnational reach and ties to other groups abroad. Cannabis is widely consumed domestically, indicating a rise in cultivation. In fact, the country’s southwest region and southern statesgrow a significant percentage of the cannabis used in West Africa.However, there isevidence of a new type of cannabis from Ghana being sold on the domestic market, which is reportedly superior to the locally produced drug in terms of quality, processing and packaging.

    Criminal Actors

    Opportunistic loose criminal networks are common and operate in every state of the country. They engage in a number of markets, including trafficking, smuggling, corruption, money laundering, advanced fee fraud, oil bunkering, banditry, kidnap for ransom and car theft. These networks vary in size and their loose structure and often short-lived durationinhibits their effective disruption by lawenforcement agencies. In addition, state-embedded actors and corruption are widespread at all levels of government, particularly in public procurement and contracting.Peopleinvolved in criminal enterprises may also go into politics. Moreover, embezzlement and bribery scandals involving high-level officials and projects have been reported in Nigeria.

    Foreign actors arealso a significant part of the criminal landscape, especially at border areas.They are active in oil, gas, mining, arms trafficking, procurement overpricing, the supply of fake and substandard products, flora and fauna smuggling and practices associated with illicit financial flows.Mostof these actors are fromAsia, but criminal networks from Lebanon are also operating in Nigeria and throughout West Africa, using their connections and their legitimate businesses to aid trafficking activities.Additionally, Mexican cartels areallegedly working with Nigerian companies.While certain crime groups in Nigeria have known names and distinct identities, mafia-likegroups remain relatively uncommon and are mostly engaged in oil bunkering.Violent mafia-style groups are also involved in kidnapping, armed robbery and smuggling. Nevertheless, Boko Haram also operates as a mafia-like group, evident in the recent appointment of leaders who would be responsible for the illicit taxation of communities. Other major sources of financing of terrorism for Boko Haram have been kidnap for ransom, illegal fishing and the protection rackets of politicians, especially in the north of the country.

    Leadership and governance

    Fighting organized crime and corruption has been at the forefront of the Buhari administration, but while banditry, armed robbery, smuggling, trafficking, cattle rustling and terrorism are commonly mentioned in political discourse, efforts remain entrenched at the federal level. Although the government is not considered transparent, measures to improve transparency and accountability have been introduced.President Muhammadu Buhariis recognized as less corrupt than his predecessors, and under his government, unprecedented convictions inhigh-profile cases of corruptionhave been recorded,andassets recovered. Furthermore, there has been a significant reduction in corruption among law enforcement and judicial officers, anda judicial panel is investigating allegations against the acting chairman of the foremost anti-corruption agency in the country.

    Nigeria has ratified many international agreements relevant to organized crime and the government cooperates with several international organizations and governments to fight trafficking, smuggling, corruption, money laundering and terrorism. The country is also a member of regional and global multilateral agencies and provides leadership in ECOWAS and the African Union. In 2019, Nigeria passed a law on the suppression of maritime crimes, and the country has also incorporated most United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) related legislation into its own statutes. While the relevant laws, policies and institutions are in place, coordination and capacity challenges exist.

    Criminal justice and security

    The judicial system in Nigeria is severely compromised. Federal judges are commonly accused of corruption and have been targeted by alleged politicallymotivated arrests. Judicial processes are slow and sometimespolitically motivated, and the judiciaryis under-resourced with inadequate facilities.Moreover, the number of pre-trial prisoners is alarming. Meanwhile, although the Nigeria Police Force is the country’s leading police organization, several law enforcement agencies are responsible for policing duties. Despite accusations of politicization, some specialized agencies, such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, have gained prominence under Buhari’s presidency. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), andNational Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Controlhave also done important work in tackling organized crime. While law enforcement agencies are under-resourced, increased attention has been given to training.Nevertheless, allegations of torture, extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses against both the military and lawe enforcement persist.

    Nigeria is positioned along major transnational trafficking routes, and its terrestrial and maritime borders are porous and difficult to police. Despite these border issues, Boko Haram terrorism and armed militant groups, the country demonstrates reasonable capacity to protect its territory, and in 2019, Nigeria closed some land borders to movement of goods due to widespread smuggling.

    Economic and financial environment

    Despite being one of the most at-riskcountriesfor money laundering and terrorist financing,Nigeria has seen significant progress in the implementation of international standards. The government utilizes institutions, laws, regulations, law enforcement and the judicial system to tackle corruption and money laundering, and an independent financial intelligence unit was established in 2018. Money stolen by a former military head of state and stashed in foreign jurisdictions has also been transferred back from Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the US. While no economic areas are controlled by organized crime groups, levels of pervasiveness in regulatory capacity may be high. However, laws, anti-corruption measures, business process reforms and executive orders aiming to strengthen the investment climate in the country are an indication of a good economic regulatory capacity. Alaw regulating all aspects of the registration and governance of private corporations and charity organizations was also recently passed. The financial sector is under the oversight of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and while related crimes fall under several anti-corruption agencies, challenges exist pertaining to resources and corruption.

    Civil society and social protection

    NAPTIP has increased activities geared towards stemming human trafficking and smuggling, and along with other law enforcement agencies, frequently arrests suspects andraids premises used to house victims. There is an increasing awareness of human trafficking and smuggling due to programmes led by the government and CSOs, and a combination of awareness raising, repatriation, victim rehabilitation and prosecution measures are currently employed. The government hasalso strengthened measures to raise awarenessandcurtail drug use. In 2019, harm reduction programmes were launched, but rehabilitation clinics are not available in Nigeria and alcohol- and drug-treatment throughout rehabilitation centres in the country have been criticized and dubbed ′inhumane′.Some CSOs also provide shelters, counselling and rehabilitation. There have been several awareness and partnership efforts to address the fallout fromorganized criminal activities, and a hotline was created to report acts of bribery. Prevention activities are carried out by the Immigration Service, via the enhancement of electronic platforms and passport security features.

    Some local communities respond to organized crime, but mainly via vigilante groups, rather than CSO movements. These groups are sometimes supported by the government, and hand suspects over to the police or try them under extra-judicial procedures. Nigeria has an active civil society, and increasing government attempts to regulate associated activities are frequently resisted by CSOs. Some CSOs addressdrug prevention, treatment and care, but these initiatives lack funding. The country has a pluralist and vibrant media covering print, electronic, traditional and new media outlets. Historically, the Nigerian media has had a reputation for professionalism, trustworthiness and boldly engaging the government through criticism of policies and programmes. However, professionalism has declined, there is a perception of corruption among journalists and regulations haveweakened. Fake and hate news are increasing and politicians own or exercise influence over newspapers. There is a significant level of distrust between the media and the government, especially law enforcement agencies, resulting in unwarranted arrests, detention and harassment of journalists. Nevertheless, there is still considerable press vitality and freedom.

    Analyses

    West Africa's warning flares? Rethinking the significance of cocaine seizures

    What if seizures represent cracks in political protection systems rather than reflect state efficiency?

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    The criminal markets score is represented by the pyramid base size and the criminal actors score is represented by the pyramid height, on a scale ranging from 1 to 10. The resilience score is represented by the panel height, which can be identified by the side of the panel.