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Abuja’s Business Climate Suffers Amidst Rising Security Concerns

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Recent findings by an Africa-focused market/security intel gathering and strategic consulting firm, SBM Intelligence, have cast a spotlight on the escalating security issues in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, and their adverse impact on the city’s commercial activities.

The report indicates a worrying 33% plunge in business revenues, attributed to the heightened sense of vigilance necessitated by the increasing bandit activity in the region.

The economic ramifications are profound, with businesses grappling with soaring operational costs.

Security expenses have surged, transport fares have escalated dramatically, and residential rents have seen a significant uptick.

This financial pressure is mounting on both businesses and residents alike, painting a grim picture of the economic landscape in Abuja.

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As the city contends with these challenges, the call for effective measures to bolster security and restore confidence in Abuja’s business sector grows ever louder.

SBM Intelligence had in February published a 29-page report indicating that Abuja has witnessed a significant surge in minor thefts, ‘One Chance’ robberies, armed robberies, and home break-ins, with the recent kidnap cases indicating a rapid deterioration in the country’s security situation.

The 5 January kidnap incident where a man, Mansoor Al-Kadriyar, was kidnapped alongside six of his daughters, highlights the brazenness of the kidnappers.

Al-Kadriyar was later released and ordered to pay ₦50 Million ($35,336) to secure his children’s release. Tragically, they killed one of his daughters, Nabeeha, following the family’s failure to pay the demanded ransom.

The remaining family members, however, regained their freedom after the ransom was paid.

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The SBM Intelligence also recalled that in the Dutse-Alhaji area of the FCT, kidnappers dressed in military camouflage, kidnapped 11 people and killed one of the victims, a 13-year-old girl.

The Nigerian Army Estate at Kurudu Phase II in the Federal Capital Territory was also invaded on 18 January and two persons were kidnapped.

The incessant attacks necessitated Abuja residents taking extensive measures to safeguard themselves while adjusting their lifestyles to the unpleasant reality.

Due to safety concerns, SBM Intelligence reported that “many residents have invested in enhancing their security infrastructure causing escalated security costs while some take extreme measures such as arming themselves with weapons such as pepper sprays and knives.”

To curtail the growing kidnapping incidents, SBM Intelligence recommended swift government action against rising kidnappings, enhanced security measures, provision of public transportation for residents, and redesigning of the FCT political security architecture.

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“Given that the government’s primary obligation is to ensure the safety and security of its citizens, the government needs to urgently implement the recommended measures so as to ensure a community safe for all residents”, the firm observed.

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