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  • Background of study

Kidnapping has become endemic in the Nigerian society. It is fast becoming a lucrative alternative to armed robbery offence. The gravity of kidnapping is so intense that it has virtually affected most persons in our society. The current dimension of kidnapping became alarmed in the Niger Delta region when militants in February 2006 abducted some oil workers, ostensibly to draw global attention to the dire situation in the oil rich Niger Delta region of the country, the victims were mostly foreigners. Since then the social problem of kidnapping has spread like wild-fire in most parts of the country, especially in the south-eastern region. The targets are no longer foreigners alone; practically every Nigerian is now a target. On the hind sight, however, it is observed that the former Governor of Anambra State was kidnapped in July 10, 2003 by his fellow political party members who were in opposition with him (Emewu & Anyanwu, 2009). Arguably, therefore, kidnapping is not actually new in the area; but the current lucrative ransom demanding strategy has become a serious social problem for the Government and people of Nigeria.

For instance, in the year 2008 Nigeria was placed sixth on the global kidnap index by an online tourism site. This rating puts the country Nigeria among countries with serious kidnapping problems, behind Philippines, Venezuela, Columbia, Brazil, and Mexico (Ujumadu, 2008; Ekpe, 2009). Such report could serve as an assumption due to lack of accurate statistical data. Also Ekpe, (2009) reported that Nigeria recorded 512 cases of kidnapping and 30 dead persons in kidnappers’ den that year as against 353 cases recorded throughout 2008. Similarly, Kyrian 2009 also reported that the former Inspector General of Police in Nigeria had noted that, kidnappers and hostage takers got 15 million in ransom (about ଂ100 million) between 2006 and 2009. Kidnapping cases in southern Nigeria have been ravaging daily incidents. The safety of persons in Nigeria and their properties cannot be guaranteed. Kidnapping is an offence punishable by the law in Nigeria. Anybody caught involved in the act is expected to face a penalty of 10years imprisonment. Apart from the above observation some States like Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi, and Rivers have passed into law a bill termed “Prohibition of Hostage Taking and Related Offences Law”, with death penalty as punishment for offenders(Inyang, 2009; Ekpe, 2009). Meanwhile, bills with capital punishment against kidnapping are awaiting subsequent readings for implementation by the National Assembly. Unfortunately despite all these stringent laws, no reported case of kidnapping has been successfully prosecuted to serve as deterrent to other potential kidnappers. Nigerians and non Nigerians residing in the country are living in fear as regards who will be the next victim, since kidnappers spare no one as far as their motives are achieved. Over the last few years, the wealthy and the income earners have been picked up by kidnappers who only free their victims after payments of ransom. Old people as well as children between the ages of two and five years have been taken hostage.

The incident of kidnapping has affected Nigeria’s image as a nation abroad. It has also affected Nigeria’s attempt to develop a viable tourism industry as visitors are regularly warned by their countries to be wary of coming to Nigeria. Many would-be investors have also stayed away for fears of being kidnapped (Ekpe, 2009). Apart from the above observable evidence, many more problems which are associated with the problem of kidnapping will be unraveled during the cause of this research. This study further intends to examine the origin and proliferation of kidnapping in Nigeria. This is necessary because despite measures meant to curb it, kidnapping still prevails and it is on the increase in recent times.

Civil unrest, terror threats, endemic corruption and ongoing abductions of Nigerians, including the well-publicised kidnapping of school-girls by terrorist group Boko Haram, underscore the continuing challenges of combating modern slavery in Nigeria (The Global Slavery Index, 2014). Modern slavery takes place within the context of human trafficking and, sometimes begins with kidnapping. Yet, kidnapping is not a new phenomenon. Religious parables found in the Holy Bible and the Holy Qur’an about the sly abduction of Prophet Joseph (may peace be unto him) are indications that kidnapping is as old as human history. However, Tzanelli (2006) mentioned that the modern usage of the term ‘kidnapping’ dates back to 17th-century Britain where infants (‘kid’) of rich families have been ‘napped’ (caught in the sleep) for ransom.

The trend is on the increase all over the world, because the Global Slavery Index (2014) reported that throughout 2014, men, women and children continue to be kidnapped in village raids and held as slaves by militias in eastern DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo). In April and May 2014, 267 women and girls suffered sexual violence by armed groups. In Nigeria, also, kidnapping is ongoing since the early 1990s (Hazen & Horner 2007). Kidnappings continue to contribute to a climate of insecurity in the South East, the Niger Delta and the South-western region. Hostages have most recently also been taken in the states of Northern Nigeria. Between 2008 and 2010, the Nigeria Police Force recorded 887 cases across the country (Action on Armed Violence, 2013). Kidnapping is taking place everywhere in Nigeria; it is a national problem that has eaten so deep into the fabric of the country (Dodo, 2010) but it takes place more in the moment of terrorism, insurgency and other forms of political violence. The kidnapping of 250 girls in a girls’ secondary school in Chibok, Borno State in 2014 and many more by Boko Haram represent the growing incidence of the kidnapping in Nigeria.

Hazen and Horner (2007) reported that some groups in the Niger Delta have used the kidnapping of international oil workers to raise international attention regarding the plight of those living in the Delta, the environmental damage caused by oil spills and the oil industry, and the demand for more local ownership of the extraction of natural resources. The use of this tactic has not been entirely political in nature, as there are reports of significant ransom payments, which have then been used to fund the activities of these groups further. In fact, the tactic has proven so lucrative that a number of criminal groups appear to have taken on the task in order simply to make money. Apart from generating money, kidnapping has other serious consequences on the victims and their relatives, as well as the State at large. This requires a systematic examination of the problem in order to identify its underlying factors and its devastating consequences on the socio-economic development and national security in Nigeria and beyond.


The incident of kidnapping has affected Nigeria’s image as a nation abroad. It has also affected Nigeria’s attempt to develop a viable tourism industry as visitors are regularly warned by their countries to be wary of coming to Nigeria.

Security challenges in the nation have hampered economic growth as the youth unemployment escalates. The horror of kidnapping has impacted the economy in the sense that it created a state of insecurity in all four walls of the nation (Ejimabo, 2013). This is evidence as we witness the torture of Boko Haram in the north, the insurgences of the militants in the south, the kidnapping waves in the southeast, and ritualism in the Midwest.

The obvious challenge facing the nation is to streamline measures to tackle the impediments or obstructions to the solution of kidnapping behaviors. Impediments are the roadblocks for structural solutions to a situation Uzorma and Nwanegbo-Ben (2014) termed as “crime culture’s metamorphosis” (p.132). Nwogwugwu, et al. (2012) argue that the terror created by kidnapping in the nation has “by extension affected Nigeria’s economic growth, because of the monolithic nature of the national economy”

Nigeria has turn to a playing ground of carnage, restiveness, Religious violence and incessant kidnapping which discourage many people to have hope in better Nigeria or to have belief in promised changed. this research discovered that things have completely changed in Nigeria because the kidnappers determined highly influential people to gain grand of huge ransom and those behind it are youth that supposed to be the leader of tomorrow but because of corruption, injustice, poverty and unemployment they are now kidnapping the leader of today as the only means of getting money to survive. There is no gain in saying that mass-media has exhausted their tenacity in reporting the cases of kidnapping in Nigeria. Because the speed with which evil is growing in Nigeria and the merciless ways that lives of innocent ones are being wasted are worrisome. According to Omede [10], people are burdened on a daily basis with psychological and emotional trauma resulting from gory sights of lifeless and mutilated bodies of loved family members, close associates and colleagues littered on the streets, public squares and everywhere.

Several studies previously conducted on the kidnapping phenomenon. Freeman (2016) studied the incident of kidnapping at the international level but she confined it to child abduction, though she viewed it from the global perspective. File-Muriel (2013) also investigated the problem of kidnapping but set focused mainly on political kidnapping. A closer study was conducted by Uzorma and Nwanegbo-Ben (2014) on the subject of kidnapping and hostage-taking in the South-eastern Nigeria. Their study narrowed it the Southern Nigeria, where the causal factors might be limited to economic while the dominant factor for kidnapping in the South-south is environmental struggle, and in the Northwestern and Northeastern parts could be poverty and terrorism, respectively.

In view of the above, the present study will examine the correlates of kidnapping in the entire Nigeria not limiting it to a particular region as done by other researchers.


The main aim of the study is to examine the effect of Kidnapping on Socio Economic Development and National Security in Nigeria. The objectives of the study are:

  1. to determine the correlation between kidnapping and socio economic development and national security in Nigeria.
  2. to examine the effect of kidnapping on socio economic development in Nigeria.
  3. to determine the consequences of kidnapping on Nigeria’s National security.
  4. to determine the causes of kidnapping in Nigeria.
  5. to examine the impediments to the control of kidnapping activities in Nigeria.
  6. to profound solutions to kidnapping activities on the Socio Economic Development and National Security in Nigeria.


  1. What is the correlation between kidnapping and socio economic development and national security in Nigeria?
  2. What are the effects of kidnapping on socio economic development in Nigeria?
  3. What are the consequences of kidnapping on Nigeria’s National security?
  4. What are the causes of kidnapping in Nigeria?
  5. What are the impediments to the control of kidnapping activities in Nigeria?
  6. What are the possible solutions to kidnapping activities on the Socio Economic Development and National Security in Nigeria?


HO: kidnapping has no significant effect on the socio economic development and National Security of Nigeria.

HI: kidnapping has significant effect on the socio economic development and National Security of Nigeria.


Kidnapping has now become a generic word both in public and private discuss going by its prevalence in the country. Literarily, the word, which has become notorious, putrid and nauseating in the ears of virtually everyone is derived from “kid” meaning; child and “nab” which means; to snatch. Adewale (2009) pointed out that kidnapping now appears to be an emerging concern in Nigeria though it is not a new phenomenon. It is as old as the word itself. But the motive may vary from country to country.

The study will serve as a guide to a better and safe Nigeria which will eventually lead to socio economic development of the Nation by attracting both local and foreign investors. As the study is not limited to a particular region, It will help the government of the Nation to understand the impediments to the control of kidnapping activities in the Nation and as well as implementing possible solutions to be a better Nigeria where all and sundry will live safely.

Finally, it will be an added research work and literature on the Effects of Kidnapping On Socio Economic development and National Security.


The study will cover extensively the effects of Kidnapping on Socio Economic development and National Security in Nigeria.


  1. Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
  2. Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.



A change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause. Something brought about by a cause or an agent; a result. The power to produce an outcome or achieve a result;  influence. A scientific law, hypothesis, or phenomenon. It is also the condition of being in full force or execution.


The action of abducting someone and holding them captive.  an act or instance or the crime of seizing, confining, inveigling, abducting, or carrying away a person by force or fraud often with a demand for ransom or in furtherance of another crime.

Socio Economic

Socio economics is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how societies progress, stagnate, or regress because of their local or regional economy, or the global economy.

Socio-economic development is the process of social and economic development in a society. Socio-economic development is measured with indicators, such as GDP, life expectancy, literacy and levels of employment.


Development is basically an economic concept that has positive connotations; it involves the application of certain economic and technical measures to utilize available resources to instigate economic growth and improve people's quality of life.

An event constituting a new stage in a changing situation. the process of developing or being developed.

National security

National security is the security of a nation state, including its citizens, economy, and institutions, which is regarded as a duty of government. the safety of a nation against threats such as terrorism, war, or espionage. National security can also be said to be the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic power, diplomacy, power projection and political power.