By Palma Ileye
In continued efforts to fight against insecurity in the country, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, after thorough screenings and fulfilment of required standards for operation has issued licenses to 15 new Private Guard Companies, PGC, to join the existing ones to achieve this feat.
Commandant General of NSCDC, Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi also charged the newly licensed PGC to take advantage of the timing of their licenses, which coincides with the country’s 2023 general elections to hit the ground running in terms of security provisions.
Audi in a press release issued yesterday by NSCDC, National Public Relations Officer, CC Olusola Odumosu, emphasized that the operational licences were coming at a very crucial period in the nation’s history where PGC services were most needed also urging them to work assiduously with the Corps and other security agencies in ensuring safety of lives and properties in the coming elections and beyond.
He advised the new operators to leverage on their closeness with the grassroot and local communities to obtain vital local intelligence that would help government’s security agencies to checkmate acts of criminalities before, during and after the elections.
He stressed the importance of having a strong understanding of security in the local context and encouraged the private guard companies to work closely with community members to emplace effective security measures in the society.
Laying emphasis on the importance of synergy and collaboration among security agencies, including private security companies, the CG noted that, no single agency possesses the exclusive strategy to tackle security challenges such as banditry, kidnapping, terrorism, political/electoral violence and so on.
He urged them to play their parts in ensuring safety and security during this decisive period, reiterating that, as the sole regulator of the Private Guard industry, they must consider themselves as strategic partners with the Corps in improving internal security of the nation.
The NSCDC boss cautioned the new entrants on the use of firearms, sirens, bouncers, and other equipment prohibited by the Private Guard Companies Act, advising them to seek assistance from the Corps whenever they are faced with challenging situations.
He stressed the importance of intelligence gathering and prompt security reports to the Corps, advising them not to focus on profiteering alone but to make improved contributions to the national security architecture of the country.
He directed them to adhere strictly with the national policy on payment of minimum wage or 60 to 40 percent on a contract basis to ensure the loyalty of guards.
The National President of the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria, ALPSPN, Mr Chris Adigwu, who was at the presentation ceremony welcomed the recipients to the association and educate them to balance security needs with their business interests.
Finally, the recipients appreciated the Corps for licensing and educating them on how to excel in the industry, while pledging to collaborate with the Corps to provide security and foster national development.