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Private guards charged on crime prevention

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By Timothy Akintola

NSCDC encourages private security companies to contribute to national security.

The Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Ahmed Audi has urged the private security guard companies in the country to ensure that they play their roles towards contributing to the general national security status in the country. During the presentation of operating license to 16 new private security guard companies which held in Abuja, he called on these companies to ensuring facilities in place and swiftly reporting suspicious activities to the corps.

Dr. Ahmed Audi noted to these private operators that private guards possess a very important role in the corporate existence of the country in the aspect of national security architecture and thus, their operation, more of a call to national duty which must be duly honored by operating within the construction of Nigeria’s designated laws. Private security guards have a germane responsibility that works well within the infrastructural confines of the country’s security system because of their access to a wider locative range and as such, must also overtly ensure the safekeeping of the general public.

Akinwunmi notes the need for effective service quality control regulations.

Talking about the thorough processes that these private companies had to go through in acquiring their licenses, he stated his certainty that the personal experiences of these private security companies will surely help them appreciate the intense focus of the corps to details. He asserted that while they have no intention in making the process cumbersome, they are also saddled with the responsibility of issuing licenses to individuals with impeccable characters and high moral standards that would by extension, be ambassadors for the corps. He further issued a stern warning that any company with detected deviation from the moral standards that have formed the grand basis for license acquisition will be immediately axed.

On the poignant responsibilities of private guards companies in ensuring maximum security provisions, Security Expert and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Lokoja, Professor Olayemi Akinwunmi pointed out the pivotal need for an effective service quality control regulation, stressing that there are intricate parts of numbers and strengths that must be utilized effectively to avoid bastardization of the objectives. He also noted that the private security guard companies, if not duly regulated, can provide a front for numerous criminal groups and thus, there must be a clear outfit distinction between the private security guard and government‘s.

Firearm license for private guards to be for fixed periods to avoid abuse.

Continuing on government legislations, the VC also asserted the serious need for discussing the issuing of firearms for private guards, noting that firearm licenses should be for fixed periods so as to avoid cases of abuse, as well as the enforcement of other industry’s self-regulation guides that will encourage monitoring against the proliferation of these budding private security guards companies. He also explained that the private security industry was made up of a wide range of security service providers that provide security services to people and properties under contract and is profit oriented.

There are over a thousand private security guard company registered under the NSCDC, and it is imaginable, the number of guards in each of these companies whose services are required in numerous residences like estates offices, schools, amongst others. Unconfirmed reports however indicates that the number of private security guards in Nigeria is estimated at a figure not less than 2 million which exceeds the number of government-fund security personnel. Akinwunmi thus stated that rather than brewing competitions, government security guards and the private security guards must work together towards achieving intact security for the general public.

Security sector reform to ensure efficient security provision for citizens.

Also, he noted that the security sector reform was largely interested in the development of an institution that would efficiently make security provision for every citizens in line with the human rights and rule of law. Wilson Esangbedo, National President of the Association of Licensed Private Security Guards in Nigeria, appreciating the NSCDC for its role in the regulatory process and partnership with the private security companies, encouraged the new members to strictly adhere to the set regulations provided by the NSCDC.

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