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Nigeria crime rate one of highest in Africa

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By Abraham Adekunle

The nation currently ranks 6th globally with a crime index of 7.28.

As one of the continent’s largest and most influential nations, Nigeria suffers from a high crime rate. Amidst Africa’s natural wonders and cultural treasures, a growing concern looms large on the continent. There is a surge in crime rates, which casts a shadow over its natural beauty and rich culture. These countries are filled with potential, and they strive to overcome the security challenges hindering their progress. But Africa continued to experience high levels of criminality in the two years since 2021, remaining the second highest scoring continent in the world at 5.25 out of 10, coming in after Asia.

Just as in 2021, this score appears to be mainly driven by criminal actors, which raises the average for criminality in Africa with a score of 5.45. However, criminal markets scored a lower 5.05. Nigeria suffers from a high crime rate as one of the continent’s largest and most influential nations. According to the report by Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, Nigeria ranks sixth in the world with a crime index of 7.28.

Ten African countries as they were ranked on the index.

Regarding crime index and global ranking, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) ranks fifth globally with an index of 7.35. Nigeria follows sixth with an index of 7.28. South Africa comes seventh with an index of 7.18; Kenya ranks 16th with an index of 7.02, followed by Libya (with 6.93 index ranking 18th), Central African Republic (CAR) (with 6.75 index ranking 23rd), Uganda (with 6.55 index ranking 29th), Sudan (with 6.37 index ranking 34th), South Sudan (with 6.32 index ranking 36th), and Cameroon (with 6.27 index ranking 37th).

Further, the Organized Crime Index 2023 has introduced five new indicators to measure criminal activity. These new indicators were added to the Organized Crime Index to reflect the changing nature of crime better. Financial crimes, cyber-dependent crimes, and the illicit trade in goods are all becoming increasingly common, and they can significantly impact individuals, businesses, and economies. Extortion and protection racketeering are serious crimes that can undermine the rule of law and create a climate of fear.

Pattern of crime reveals a deeper truth of happenings in the country.

These factors have been included in the new indicators in the index, which is a positive step. It will help improve our understanding of the nature and extent of organized crime and provide policymakers with better information to develop effective strategies to combat this threat. Crime rate has taken a new dimension in the country in recent times. The pattern that the data clearly shows reveals how highly dangerous and neatly coordinated these illegal activities are.

For instance, during the 2023 general elections in the country, the terrorists and militants observed an unofficial ceasefire. The country simply experienced calm, peace and safety. Some have claimed that the sponsors of terrorism, banditry and other crimes were too occupied with the electioneering campaigns. This may seem believable even without evidence because of the way the spate of insecurity took over the Nigerian space a few weeks after elections. Kidnapping resumed, militants terrorized communities, and bandits launched coordinated attacks on targets.

Nigerians need a change of mentality and “culture.”

Undoubtedly, there is crime in every corner of the world but the rate of crimes in Nigeria is alarming. The dignity, sanctity and sacredness of human life is derided. Many young Nigerians now glorify fraud and cybercrime because of lack of jobs and merit in the country. The data does not lie—it simply shows how urgent the situation is critical and Nigerians, both young and old, need to rise up and change the underlying mentality that is now growing in many.

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