Estimated N5bn Ransom Paid For Kidnappin Since 2016, Says Benjamin Kanu

Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu on Monday said an estimated N5 billion has been paid as ransom to kidnappers since 2016.

Speaking at the opening of the national dialogue on state policing organised by the House of Representatives, Kalu said the figure starkly exposes the alarming growth of the criminal enterprise in Nigeria.

He said the 2024 Global Terrorism Index painted a concerning picture, ranking Nigeria fourth in Sub-Saharan Africa and eighth globally for countries most impacted by terrorism.

He said: “These statistics underscore the urgent need for a multi-layered policingapproach that prioritizes local security and enables a more responsive policing environment in Nigeria”.

He recalled that the critical conversation on state policing gained significant momentum following an emergency meeting in February 2024 between President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Governors at the Aso Rock Villa.

He explained that gathering highlighted state policing as a national priority, reflecting a deep understanding of the need for a new approach to tackling insecurity.

The Deputy Speaker further said Nigerians are understandably divided in their proposed solutions to the nation’s security challenges, saying “one school of thought advocates for a return to multilayered policing.”