A total of 2,371 persons were kidnapped and N10 billion demanded in ransoms in the first half of 2021, a report has said.
SBM Intelligence, an economic research firm, announced this on its website.
The report noted that Niger, Katsina and Kaduna states topped in kidnap cases.
It said an average of 13 persons were abducted daily in the first half of 2021.
The report indicated that a total of 2,371 persons were abducted across 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) within the stated period.
The firm sourced its data from media reports and the national security tracker of the Council of Foreign Relations.
On the monetary worth of the crime, the report said N10 billion ($19.96 million as of June 30) was demanded as ransom for the kidnap victims, but silent on the sum finally paid.
The highest number of kidnap victims — about 605 — was recorded in February, March with 534 kidnap victims, 355 in May while April, January and June had 316, 284 and 277 respectively.
The report also said Niger state recorded the highest number of persons abducted, with 643 victims in 28 kidnap incidents, while 58 people were killed during the abductions.
This was followed by Zamfara state with 519 kidnap victims in seven incidents, leading to the deaths of 22 people, while Kaduna state recorded 360 kidnap victims in 26 incidents, leading to the deaths of 41 persons.
SBM Intelligence listed other states to include; Abia (6), Abuja (50), Adamawa (3), Akwa Ibom (2), Anambra (14), Bauchi (3), Bayelsa (7), Benue (6), Borno (1), Cross River (4), Delta (51), Ebonyi (5), Edo (18), Ekiti (14), Enugu (15), Gombe (1), Imo (25), Jigawa (2), Kano (3), Katsina (236), Kebbi (81), Kogi (31) and Kwara (10).
The rest are Lagos (6), Nasarawa (44), Ogun (26), Ondo (17), Osun (23), Oyo (61), Plateau (10), Rivers (14), Sokoto (10), Taraba (46), and Yobe (4).
Most importantly, schools were targeted in the abductions that took place in the first half of 2021, as hundreds of students were held hostage in the north-west and north-central state of Niger.