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Nigeria — Gun Facts, Figures and the Law

StockpilesGun Numbers

Civilian Guns

Number of Privately Owned Firearms

The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Nigeria is 2,000,0001

Rate of Civilian Firearm Possession per 100 Population

The estimated rate of private gun ownership (both licit and illicit) in Nigeria is 1.51 firearms per 100 people

Number of Privately Owned Handguns

There are reportedly 1,000,0002 handguns in civilian possession in Nigeria

Number of Privately Owned Firearms - World Ranking

In a comparison of the number of privately owned guns in 178 countries, Nigeria ranked at No. 343

Rate of Privately Owned Firearms per 100 Population - World Ranking

In a comparison of the rate of private gun ownership in 178 countries, Nigeria ranked at No. 1331

Estimated Number of Illicit Firearms

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Nigeria there are estimated to be 1,000,0002

Estimated Rate of Illicit Firearms per 100 Population

Unlawfully held guns cannot be counted, but in Nigeria there are estimated to be 0.714 illicit firearms per 100 people

Government Guns

Number of Military Firearms

The defence forces of Nigeria are reported to have 179,5505 firearms

Number of Law Enforcement Firearms

Police in Nigeria are reported to have 360,0006 firearms

ImpactsDeath and Injury

Homicides (any method)

ChartIn Nigeria, annual homicides by any means total

2008: 1,9567 8
2007: 1,981
2006: 2,000
2005: 2,074
2004: 2,550
2003: 2,136
2002: 2,117
2001: 2,120
2000: 1,255
1999: 1,645
1998: 1,670
1997: 1,730
1996: 1,561
1995: 1,585
1994: 1,6297

Rate of Homicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Nigeria, the annual rate of homicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2008: 1.38 9
2007: 1.3
2006: 1.4
2005: 1.5
2004: 1.9
2003: 1.6
2002: 1.6
2001: 1.7
2000: 1.0
1999: 1.4
1998: 1.4
1997: 1.5
1996: 1.4
1995: 1.4
1994: 1.524

Suicides (any method)

ChartIn Nigeria, annual suicides by any means total

2008: 14110
2007: 154
2006: 199
2005: 128
2004: 131
2003: 191
2002: 152
2001: 241
2000: 146
1999: 323
1998: 313
1997: 272
1996: 238
1995: 229
1994: 200

Rate of Suicide per 100,000 People (any method)

ChartIn Nigeria, the annual rate of suicide by any means per 100,000 population is

2008: 0.094
2007: 0.10
2006: 0.14
2005: 0.09
2004: 0.09
2003: 0.14
2002: 0.12
2001: 0.19
2000: 0.12
1999: 0.27
1998: 0.26
1997: 0.24
1996: 0.21
1995: 0.21
1994: 0.19

ProductionGun Industry

Regulation of Firearm Makers

In Nigeria, the manufacture of small arms, ammunition and/or their components is permitted only if the maker holds a valid licence11 12 13

TransfersGun Trade and Trafficking

Regulation of Firearm Exports

In Nigeria, firearm and ammunition exports are limited by transfer control law14 15

Small Arms Exports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition exports from Nigeria is reported by Customs to be US$21116 (2011)

Regulation of Firearm Imports

In Nigeria, firearm and ammunition imports are limited by transfer control law17 14 18 15

Small Arms Imports (US$) - Customs

The annual value of small arms and ammunition imports to Nigeria is reported by Customs to be US$12,91216 (2011)

Smuggling Guns and Ammunition

Reports suggest that the level of firearm and ammunition smuggling in Nigeria is moderate19

End User Certificates

Customs regulations in Nigeria include20 certification of the intended end user of any small arms or ammunition transfer, and/or a written declaration of its intended end use

MeasuresGun Regulation

Firearm Regulation - Guiding Policy

The regulation of guns in Nigeria is categorised as permissive21

Firearm Law

Guiding gun control legislation in Nigeria includes the Firearms Act22 and Firearms Regulations23

Firearm Regulation Authority

Guns in Nigeria are regulated by the President24

Right to Possess Firearms

In Nigeria, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law25 26

Restricted Firearms and Ammunition

In Nigeria, civilians are not allowed to possess machine-guns, military rifles and handguns27 28

Regulation of Automatic Weapons

In Nigeria, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited27 28

Regulation of Semiautomatic Assault Weapons

In Nigeria, private possession of semi-automatic assault weapons is prohibited29 30

Regulation of Handguns

In Nigeria, private possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is prohibited27 28

Gun Ownership and Possession

In Nigeria, only licensed gun owners29 28 may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Genuine Reason Required for Firearm Possession

Applicants for a gun owner’s licence in Nigeria are not required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm31 32

Minimum Age for Firearm Possession

The minimum age for gun ownership in Nigeria is 17 years26

Gun Licence Background Check

An applicant for a firearm licence in Nigeria must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental and addiction26 records

Reference Required for Firearm Licence

In Nigeria, third party character references for each gun licence applicant are not required31 32

Domestic Violence and Firearms

Where a past history, or apprehended likelihood of family violence exists, the law in Nigeria does not stipulate31 32 that a gun licence should be denied or revoked

Firearm Safety Training

In Nigeria, an understanding of firearm safety and the law, tested in a theoretical and/or practical training course is not required31 32 for a firearm licence

Gun Owner Licensing Period

In Nigeria gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every one year33

Licensing Records

In Nigeria, authorities maintain a record34 of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition

Limit on Quantity, Type of Ammunition

Licensed firearm owners in Nigeria are permitted to possess only that which is prescribed in their licence or permit35

Firearm Registration

Civilian Gun Registration

In Nigeria, the law requires34 that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register

Gun Dealer Record Keeping

In Nigeria, licensed firearm dealers are required36 37 to keep a record of each firearm or ammunition purchase, sale or transfer on behalf of a regulating authority

Gun Manufacturer Record Keeping

In Nigeria, licensed gun makers are required13 to keep a record of each firearm produced, for inspection by a regulating authority

State-Owned Firearm Records

In Nigeria, State agencies are required38 39 to maintain records of the storage and movement of all firearms and ammunition under their control

Gun Sales and Transfers

Regulation of Private Gun Sales

In Nigeria, the private sale and transfer of firearms is prohibited40

Regulation of Dealer Gun Sales

In Nigeria, dealing in firearms by way of business without a valid gun dealer’s licence is unlawful40 41

Waiting Period for Gun Possession

In Nigeria, the minimum wait for a lawful firearm purchase to be completed is undetermined31 32

Regulation of Gun Shows

In Nigeria, gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are not regulated31 32 in law

Storage and Transport of Guns and Ammunition

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Private

Firearm regulations in Nigeria include42 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of private firearms and ammunition by licensed gun owners

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Dealer

Firearm regulations in Nigeria include43 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by licensed arms dealers

Firearm and Ammunition Storage Regulations - Government

Government regulations in Nigeria include13 written specifications for the lawful safe storage of firearms and ammunition by state entities

Marking and Tracing Guns and Ammunition

Firearm Marking

In Nigeria, a unique identifying mark on each firearm is required by law13 44 45

Carrying Guns

Carrying Guns Openly in Public

In Nigeria, carrying a firearm in plain view in a public place is allowed, subject to a valid permit31 32

Carrying Hidden Handguns in Public

In Nigeria, carrying a concealed firearm in a public place is prohibited27 28

Penalty for Illicit Firearm Possession

In Nigeria, the maximum penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm46 is 5 years prison47

Collection, Amnesty and Destruction Programmes

Authorities in Nigeria are known to have48 49 implemented voluntary firearm surrender schemes, and/or weapon seizure programmes in order to reduce the number of illicit firearms in circulation

Small Arms Destroyed

In Nigeria, the total number of firearms destroyed following recent amnesty, collection and seizure programmes is reported to be 1,90248 (2002/2003) and 1,46649 (2004)

Destruction and Disposal Policy

In Nigeria, it is state policy48 to destroy surplus, collected and seized firearms rather than return them to the secondary arms market

MeasuresInternational Controls

Regional Agreements

African Union

In June 2006, as a member of the African Union, Nigeria adopted an African Common Position to take to the Conference to Review the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA), held in June 200650

Economic Community of West African States

In June 2006, as a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Nigeria adopted the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and other Related Materials. This stipulates strict controls on the transfer, manufacture, possession and security of small arms and light weapons51

United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

At the resumption of the most recent session of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (UNCCPCJ), a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council mandated to promote action to prevent national and transnational crime, Nigeria was listed as an elected member for a three-year term of office52

Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development

The Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, a diplomatic initiative aimed at addressing the interrelations between armed violence and development, was signed in 200653 by Nigeria.

United Nations Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has been signed and ratified54 by Nigeria

United Nations Firearms Protocol

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition has been signed and ratified55 by Nigeria

United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action UNPoA

UNPoA Commitment

On 21 July 2001, Nigeria committed to a consensus decision of the United Nations to adopt, support and implement the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects56

UNPoA Implementation Monitor Score

In its UN small arms Programme of Action Implementation Monitor (PoAIM Phase 1), the Small Arms Survey scored Nigeria against its commitments to the PoA, then ranked it at No. 14957 58 59 60 among 159 Member States

UNPoA National Reporting

Under the terms of its 2001 commitment to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action, Nigeria has submitted one or more national reports61 62 on its implementation of the UNPoA

UNPoA National Point of Contact

In Nigeria, a National Point of Contact to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated63 62

UNPoA National Coordinating Body

In Nigeria, a National Coordinating Body to deal with issues relating to the UNPoA has been designated63 62

UNPoA Civil Society Involvement and Support

In National Reports of Nigeria submitted to the UN, a history of substantive cooperation with civil society in support of UNPoA activities is apparent64

UNPoA International Assistance – Donor

Funds for UNPoA implementation have not been donated62 by Nigeria to other UN Member States

UNPoA International Assistance – Recipient

Funds for UNPoA implementation have been provided62 to Nigeria by other UN Member States

United Nations Small Arms Register

According to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, Nigeria has not declared65 its small arms exports in one or more annual National Reports on Arms Exports.

United Nations Membership

In the UN List of Member States, Nigeria has been a Member State of the United Nations since 196066

Wassenaar Arrangement

The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls and Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies does not list67 Nigeria as a Participating State

BackgroundCountry Profile

Conflict Profile

For a profile of conflict in Nigeria, select the Link icon to open an external web page from the UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia at Uppsala University

Global Peace Index

To see where Nigeria ranks, select the Link icon to open an external web page at the Global Peace Index


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