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Minister seeks private security outfits to tackle insecurity

By Anietie Akpan, Calabar
04 December 2020   |   4:04 am
Worried by the rising spate of insecurity in the country, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has canvassed the setting up of private security firms to tackle the menace, saying they should be prepared to fill some gaps.

Worried by the rising spate of insecurity in the country, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has canvassed the setting up of private security firms to tackle the menace, saying they should be prepared to fill some gaps.

He stated this yesterday in Calabar, Cross River State, at a retreat organised by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in collaboration with the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN) with the theme: “New Dynamics for Security Practice in Nigeria,”

He stressed that with the present situation in the country, “there is no doubt that Nigeria needs private security firms.”

Aregbesola, who was represented by his Senior Special Adviser on Strategy, Ademola Adeyinka, said the need for private security firms was because Nigeria has a ratio of 187 policemen to 1000 persons according to the United Nations (UN) figures.

“But in the United States, it is 238, 362 in Northern Ireland, 211 in England and Wales and as high as 455 in Portugal and 515 to 1,000 persons in Russia.

“In a situation where there is shortage of personnel, there must be challenges and that is where private security firms will fill the gap and they should be prepared to play some roles,” he said

The minister said the private outfits should provide security for their clients at the lower level, prepare their personnel to assist security agencies with gathering and transmission of critical information, as well as standardised training and remuneration, as government would like to partner with them in establishing training and certification institutes for all categories of private security concerns.

He stressed that the retreat was timely given its objective of sharpening and shaping the role of private security operators in the general security architecture of Nigeria.

Speaking, National President of ALPSPN, Wilson Esangbedo, pointed out that private security firms were facing challenges in the country, adding:
“They operate under very harsh and difficult business environment.

“The Federal Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity harasses our operators to obtain recruiters’ license before they can deploy their guards. We also have the issue of high tax assessment besides sundry fees our operators are forced to pay in our various states of operation.”

Esangbedo charged the regulators and the supervising ministry to review the challenges and support the industry to succeed.

On his part, Paramount Ruler of Calabar South, Muri Munene, Prof. Itam Hogan, said the security agencies should seek recommendations of the traditional rulers before they recruit, because the traditional rulers know the people and would only recommend those they could vouch for.