Aon has called on companies to implement crisis manage-ment plans and other measures to help prevent kidnapping, as the number of foreigners kidnapped in Nigeria rises.

According to Aon, while the number of global kidnappings has dipped slightly, incidents are on the increase in Nigeria due to local militant groups' claims for a larger share of the country's oil wealth for local citizens.

According to Aon's 2007 political and economic risk map the areas of highest risk include sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and parts of Central America.

Exclusive Analysis, forecasters of violent and political risk worldwide, said Mexico and Sri Lanka are also kidnapping hotspots.

Clive Stoddart, executive director for Aon's crisis management team, said: "Premiums are competitive at the moment. The market has been flat for the past two years and there are signs of a softening market so we predict rate reductions in the second quarter of 2007."