Beny Boys

Summary: Beny Boys is a term used for young boys who are involved in criminal activities in Nigeria. These boys can be found in different parts of the country, engaging in various forms of crime such as robbery, drug trafficking, and prostitution. This article explores the different aspects of Beny Boys and their impact on society.

1. Who are Beny Boys?

Beny Boys are predominantly young boys between the ages of 10 and 20 who engage in various forms of criminal activities. They often come from poor backgrounds and lack basic education. They are also known as ‘Area Boys’ or ‘Street Urchins.’ They can be found on the streets of different Nigerian cities, begging for money or engaged in other forms of illicit activity.

The majority of these boys are from broken homes, have been abandoned by their parents, or are orphans. Their only means of survival is to engage in criminal activities. The Beny Boys operate in groups and are fiercely territorial, defending their ‘turf’ from rival groups. Members of the groups have established hierarchies, with leaders, enforcers, and foot-soldiers who carry out different tasks. Some are involved in petty theft, while others engage in more serious crimes like drug trafficking and armed robbery.

Despite their criminal activities, some Beny Boys are also known to engage in community service, such as helping to control traffic during events or gathering waste materials for recycling.

2. Why do Beny Boys engage in Crime?

There are many reasons why young boys become Beny Boys. Poverty and lack of education are at the top of the list. Many of these boys come from poor families, and their parents cannot support them financially or provide them with education and basic needs. Consequentially, the boys take to the streets to fend for themselves.

Another reason is peer pressure. For some boys, joining a gang of Beny Boys serves as a way to belong to something and have a sense of identity. The allure of making easy money also motivates many boys to engage in criminal activities. They see other Beny Boys living large, driving flashy cars, and spending money on luxury items and want to emulate them.

Lastly, some boys become ‘Area Boys’ because they lack positive role models. With limited opportunities, they turn to the streets, and the only people they come in contact with are other young boys already engaged in criminal activity.

3. Impact of Beny Boys on Society

The impact of Beny Boys on society can be quite significant. The boys often become a nuisance to society as they engage in activities such as extortion, intimidation, and public disturbance. Their presence in most Nigerian cities can be overwhelming, causing fear and anxiety among residents and visitors. In some instances, their violent activities have resulted in the loss of lives and destruction of property.

Furthermore, the financial loss due to the activities of Beny Boys is staggering. Business owners who refuse to pay extortion fees are threatened or lose their investments, leading to unemployment and economic downturn.

Their activities also expose young people to a life of crime and violence. Young boys who idolize the Beny Boys come under their influence, and before you know it, they too have joined the ranks of those perpetuating illicit activities.

4. Measures to Address the Beny Boys Menace

The Nigerian government has taken several steps to address the issue of Beny Boys. Organizations and individuals have also initiated programs aimed at rehabilitating the boys and creating opportunities for their future. Some of these measures include:

Education: Providing basic education and vocational training for the boys to learn different skills.

Youth programs: Create programs aimed at engaging young boys in meaningful activities, such as sports and creative arts.

Counseling: Providing counseling services for young boys who have had negative experiences like physical abuse or abandonment.

Rehabilitation centers: Creating rehabilitation centers where young boys can receive support, counseling, and medical attention.

Law Enforcement: The government should also intensify its efforts to curb crime, through measures like increased surveillance and arrest of suspects.


The Beny Boys phenomenon is a serious threat to Nigeria’s social fabric. These young boys pose a significant challenge to the country’s economic, social, and political stability. The government needs to take urgent steps to address the problem holistically, including partnering with organizations and community leaders, to provide education, vocational training, counseling, and rehabilitation. Only then can we hope to address this menace and create a better future for our youth.

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