The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has witnessed a 33% decline in revenues between January 2023 and January 2024 due to kidnapping and heightened insecurity, a recent report by SB Morgen (SBM) Intelligence has revealed. The report disclosed that “about 283 individuals” were abducted during the year under review.
Titled, “Inside Nigeria’s Hostage Capital: Unravelling the Economic Impact of Abuja’s Kidnapping Epidemic”, the report said insecurity in the nation’s capital has impacted negatively on nightlife such as night markets, hangout spots and recreational and entertainment spots.
The SBM report noted a hike in the cost of transport and rent in upscale areas resulting in an increase in estate security fees, a drop in business revenue, and financial loss through ransom payment.
“Businesses in the city saw a decline in revenue as a result of the downturn in economic activities like nightlife entertainment in hangout spots and recreational centres.
“The report noted that many individuals and businesses now opt to close for the day as early as 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. to avoid being victims of insecurity. “This contributed to the 33 percent decline in the revenues of businesses operating in the city,” the report stated.
The research organisation also said the increase in criminal activity, notably kidnappings, has decreased property values, particularly in areas such as Bwari and its vicinity.
“It has been observed that landlords are facing the consequences as many people are moving away from these areas.
“Prices are inching upwards in the upscale parts of the city, which are perceived to be safe, while they are inching downward in the outlying areas,” the report said.
It clarified that transportation fares have risen by 100 percent. Additionally, the popular public transport service ‘Along,’ has become a target for ‘One Chance’ criminals, leading residents to choose safer options like Bolt and Uber.
“The residents in the FCT find themselves grappling with increased transportation expenses, particularly for movement within the city centre,” it added.
Furthermore, the report revealed that residents in the crime hotspots around the city have seen an increased cost of security fees of up to 20 percent in the past year, while others have had to purchase more security gadgets like CCTV cameras.