By Ebinum Samuel

In his determination to reposition the practice of Private Security Guard Companies and enhance their contribution to the security architecture in Nigeria, the Minister of Interior, Honourable Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo has set up a 9-member reform committee headed by the Permanent Secretary of the Interior Ministry, Dr Aishatu Gogo Ndayako.

According to a press statement issued by CSC Babawale Zaid Afolabi, the NSCDC National PRO, the Minister of Interior while speaking as the Chairman of a Stakeholders Consultative Meeting held in Abuja on Nigeria Private Security Practice, explained that two other members of the committee are to be drawn from the Ministry of Interior while the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN), are to produce three members each.Recall that the NSCDC is Statutorily empowered to Training, Supervision, Monitored and issuing of License of operation to Private Security Practitioners in Nigeria”.The reform committee was given three weeks to submit its report which required it to work assiduously towards ensuring the standardisation of private security Companies in the country to meet the security needs of the Nigerians.

According to the minister, private guard companies have great roles to perform in enhancing the security architecture of the country in addition to complementing the duties of conventional security agencies in terms of Intelligence gathering; he reiterated the need for adherence to the regulatory rules by operators which he charged the NSCDC to enforce and regulate accordingly. While giving assurance through support from the interior ministry and cooperation, Dr Olubunmi announced that the dividends of the proposed reforms would be enjoyed by members of Private Guard Companies who would comply with standardized regulations. In an address of welcome, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Aishatu Gogo Ndayako, explained that the stakeholders meeting was to address key challenges, explore innovative solutions, and strengthen the professionalism of private security services.

While stating that the forum was to ensure constructive dialogue and collective expertise to foster a more secure environment for communities and businesses, the Permanent Secretary called for maximum participation and contribution from operators who were drawn from across all zones in the country.On his part, the Commandant General of the NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi mni OFR, said Nigeria is bedevilled with security challenges stating that the situation requires coordination, cooperation and collaboration from all state actors with the support of private security operators to be effectively addressed.While emphasizing the crucial role of Private Security operators, the CG maintained that no agency has a monopoly of strategies, hence the need for the companies to cover the vacuum which may be left by conventional agencies.

Concerning the sole mandate of the Corps in regulating activities of Private Guard Companies as contained in the NSCDC Act (Amendment) 2007, the CG stated that the Corps is empowered to recommend private security companies to the Minister of Interior for licensing, monitor and supervise their activities and train their operatives.While assuring of the readiness of the Corps to improve on its regulatory activities, he disclosed that as at take off in 2006 when the regulation of PGCs was handed over to NSCDC with 525 licensed companies under the ministry, the Corps through its regulatory activities has discharged its duties thus, increased the number of companies to 1,333 nationwide as at 2023.

Speaking on behalf of other operators, the National President of, the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria, ALPSPN, Mr Chris Adigwu, commended the Minister for the stakeholder’s consultative meeting and pledged on behalf of his members to adhere to new reforms that will be put in place.Other highlights of the meeting were presentations on challenges and solutions by representatives of operators from different zones which were articulated and responded to by the Minister of Interior, Honourable Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo who presided over the meeting.

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