Nigeria - Country Commercial Guide
Safety and Security

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-10-13


  Unit: USD Millions





2020 (estimated)

Total Market size





Total local production





Total exports





Total Imports





Imports from the U.S.





Exchange rate





Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports) 

Data Sources: 

Total Local Production: National Defense Academy (NDA)

Total Exports: National Bureau of Statistics Trade Data

Total Imports: Security Practitioners’ Association of Nigeria, Industry practitioners, National Bureau of Statistics  

Imports from U.S.: U.S. Census Bureau

Nigeria National Bureau of Statistics 

*Estimates have factored in the projected -5.4% GDP growth rate expected in 2020

Over the years, Nigeria has experienced an increase in the global terrorism indexes as the 2021 Global Peace Index produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace has ranked Nigeria 146 among 163 independent nations and territories according to its level of peacefulness. Nigeria moved one step from 147 in 2020, though it still ranked eighth among the least peaceful countries in Africa.

As of 2019, the terrorism index in Nigeria indicator stood at 8.31. The index measures the direct and indirect impact of terrorism on a scale from 0 (no impact) to 10 (highest impact). Nigeria is said to be one of the countries with the highest terrorism threat levels in the world.  1,245 fatalities because of terrorism were recorded in Nigeria in 2019.

Several militant groups are active in the country, leading to attacks to both civil and military targets. The Northern region has been hit with waves of insurgency from Boko Haram (BH) and Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) over the past decade.

Insecurity in Nigeria has risen sharply over the last few years. In almost every region of the country there are two major security issues: communal clashes/civil unrest and kidnap-for-ransom (KFR).

Community clashes are also increasing in areas such as Kaduna (northern Nigeria). According to SBM Intelligence, kidnappings in the country have increased. Between June 2011 and the end of March 2020, at least $18 million was paid to kidnappers as ransom.

Between 2015 and 2019, Nigeria’s rate of unemployment doubled to about 23.5% of the total adult population. According to Statista 2021, the unemployment rate in Nigeria in 2021 is expected to reach 32.5%. This figure is projected to increase to 33% in 2022.

The high rate of unemployment is a key driver of insecurity. With insecurity being a major issue, GON has taken steps to mitigate the issue. GON has taken possession of 12 Super Tucano A-29 aircraft for the Nigerian Airforce in its fight against insurgency. These aircraft were purchased from the U.S. at a cost of $500.

2021 has been a difficult year for Nigerians concerning security – as the country combats several forms of crime and terror – across all its 36 states. This is despite allocating 10 trillion naira ($24.3 billion) to security between 2015 and 2021.

The GON has increased the budgetary allocation for security in the country from 950 billion naira ($2.3 billion) in 2015 to 1.78 trillion naira ($4.3 billion) in 2020.

In the 2021 budget, the entire security sector’s allocation was 1.97 trillion naira ($4.8 billion), representing a 14% increase from the 1.78 trillion naira ($4.3 billion) allocated in 2020.

The breakdown of the defense budget is shown below.

  • 966 billion naira ($2.3 billion) allocated to the Ministry of Defense
  • 35 billion naira ($85 million) allocated to the defense headquarters
  • 510 billion naira ($1.24 billion) allocated to the Nigerian Army
  • 136 billion ($331 million) naira allocated to the Nigerian Navy
  • 140 billion naira ($340 million) allocated to the Nigerian Airforce.
  • 32 billion naira ($78 million) allocated to the Defense Intelligence Agency

In terms of expenditure, the proposed aggregate revenue and expenditure budgets for 2021 are 7.89 trillion naira and 13.08 trillion naira respectively. Shown below are the capital expenditure items across different branches of the country’s security infrastructure.


  • Purchase of “A” Vehicles – 2.45 billion naira ($6 million)
  • Purchase of arms for operation - 3.02 billion naira ($7.3 million)
  • Purchase of ammunition for operations – 2.60 billion naira ($6.3 million)
  • Purchase of “B” Vehicles – 1.22 billion naira ($2.9 million)
  • Operational kitting – 1.16 billion naira ($2.8 million)
  • General kitting - 1.76 billion naira ($4.8 million)


  • Procurement of 32-meter Hydro Survey Landing Ship – 3.53 billion naira ($8.6 million)
  • Procurement of Landing ship Tank– 6.15 billion naira ($15 million)
  • Procurement of 3xAW109 Helicopters - 6.39 billion naira ($15.3 million)
  • Procurement of 4x 17M Inshore Patrol Craft - 151 million naira ($367,000)
  • Procurement of Arms, Ammunition, webbing and Equipment – 800 million naira ($1.95 million)


  • Part payment for purchase of 1 X JF -17 Thunder Aircraft and support equipment – 4.04 billion naira ($9.8 million)
  • Procurement of Targeting POD for JF-17 Thunder Aircraft - 3.76 billion naira ($9.1 million)
  • Procurement of various aircraft, arms and ammunition - 650 million naira ($1.5 million)
  • Procurement of various aircraft spares – 566 million naira ($1.37 million)

Private individuals and organizations are also important stakeholders in the security and safety market in Nigeria. An increasing number of homes and offices are fitted with surveillance cameras and closed-circuit cameras (CCTVs). Demand for automated gate systems are also on the rise in upscale areas in Nigeria, as well as car trackers and video enabled doorbells.

Cyber security is a growing niche in the Nigerian market with a particular focus on financial institutions and other related companies. Given the sensitive nature of the financial sector they make for easy targets by cyber criminals. Organizations that also process large data are prospective targets of cyber criminals, thus promoting the opportunity for U.S. origin cyber security firms to explore the Nigerian market.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Leading subsectors in the security and safety sector include security equipment and security training.

U.S. companies are the preferred choice of suppliers for high-profile security products purchased by public and private sector stakeholders in Nigeria. Equipment such as military jets, unmanned aerial vehicles, bomb detectors, surveillance systems, body scanners, body cameras, and covert cameras are mostly sourced from U.S. manufacturers.

Security and safety training for government officials, private security companies, and organizations is an opportunity U.S. companies. U.S. companies can bid directly or through public tenders. Tender offers are made available to the public via the respective agencies or through the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).


U.S. companies have an advantage over other countries for the supply of security equipment to Nigerian entities. As shown above, numerous supply opportunities exist for U.S. companies to supply security equipment to the GON through any of the procuring security agencies as listed in the overview section of this report. U.S. companies can bid to supply the outstanding fire trucks which the Ministry of Interior will need to purchase soon. Sale of surveillance equipment to state governments and private organizations are additional opportunities for U.S. companies – including aerial surveillance equipment for the monitoring of state boundaries and forests.

States within the South East, South West and South-South corridors in the country have all established different levels of vigilante/security enforcement units to address security challenges within their regions.

For more information, e-mail: Adesina Anthony A., U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Consulate General, Lagos, Nigeria at

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September 27 – 29 2021


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June 2022

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