• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Abuja residents face rising rent, transport costs over kidnapping epidemic – SBM

Abuja residents face rising rent, transport costs over kidnapping epidemic – SBM

House rents in upscale areas of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have surged in recent times due to the increasing incidents of kidnappings in suburban areas, a new report by SBM Intelligence says.

The report highlighted the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria’s capital and its tangible impact on the city’s residents.
It noted a 10–50 percent increase in rent in upscale areas, driven by residents’ perceptions of enhanced safety. Conversely, rents in suburban areas, most affected by the security crisis, have declined.

Transportation fares have also spiked by 100-500 percent due to the prevailing crisis. Residents in the FCT are grappling with higher transportation expenses, particularly for intra-city travel.
The popular public transport service ‘Along,’ has become a hotspot for criminal activities, prompting residents to opt for more secure alternatives like Bolt and Uber. However, the surge in fuel prices has made these ride-hailing services relatively expensive.

The current insecurity has led to a downturn in economic activities, especially in nightlife, such as night markets and recreational spots. Many city workers now prefer to head straight home instead of engaging in late-night activities due to safety concerns. This has led to a reduction of business revenue by 33 percent.

The surge in kidnapping incidents has left Abuja residents fearful for their safety. Incidents like the kidnapping of Mansoor Al-Kadriyar and his daughters in Bwari have highlighted the severity of the situation. Despite paying a ransom, one of his daughters was killed by the kidnappers.

In another incident in the Dutse-Alhaji area, gunmen dressed in military camouflage kidnapped 11 individuals, including a 13-year-old girl, Folasade Ariyo, who was later killed over a delayed ransom.

SBM Intelligence reported that between January 2023 and January 2024, 283 individuals were abducted by bandits and kidnappers in Abuja, with areas like Bwari and Kuje being the most affected.

The report recommended the redesign of the FCT’s political architecture, saying the security crisis results from unclear accountability under the current ministerial system. Introducing a governor or mayor with independent powers could enhance accountability and prompt proactive security measures.