There is a market for protective clothing in African conflict areas

Bullet proof vests costing $925 each have gone on sale for the first
time to members of the public in Nigeria.

The body armour was advertised in the Guardian newspaper on Tuesday,
promising to withstand multiple hits and bullets from sniper rifles.

The BBC's Bilkisu Labaran Ohyomah says until now, such items were
only available to the political elite.

The government has spent huge sums on personal security following a
spate of political killings last year.

Worrying dimension

An attempt on a state governor's life led to many of Nigeria's 36
governors buying customised bullet-proof jeeps, each costing

According to Jolantt, the firm selling the body armour, they have
supplied 300 bullet proof vests to bank security guards travelling
in vans with large amounts of cash and bullion.

"As you know when banks in Nigeria get robbed, police officers and
guards on duty are the first victims," Jolantt spokesman Kenneth
Edetanun said.

Several state governors and other security agencies have expressed
an interest in the security vests, but a member of the public has
yet to purchase one of them, he said.

In a country plagued by violent crime, these developments are a
worry for ordinary Nigerians, says BBC Nigeria editor Bilkisu
Labaran Ohyomah.

Last week, plans to introduce a bill allowing private security
guards to carry arms were revealed.

Our correspondent says the new acting inspector general of police is
unlikely to welcome the availability of body armour on the open
market, as he tries to convince Nigerians of his determination to
tackle crime.

BBC News. Wednesday, 16 February, 2005, 17:15 GMT