Labour Force : Private Security Companies Tops Chart After Government and Construction Industries – Tunde Mumuni

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The Lagos State Chairman of the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN), Mr. Tunde Mumuni has said that apart from the construction companies and government, the Private Security Companies (PSCs) are the largest employers of manpower.

Mumuni who made this assertion as a panelist at the Private Security Governance Forum for South-West Zone organized in Lagos by the African Law Foundation (Afri Law) in collaboration with the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance explained that he chose not to use the word labour because once private security companies are mentioned, everybody looks at the man guard or the static guard.

He observed that private security was broken into many sectors namely; the cyber security, the physical man guarding, the electronic security, the equipment security among other various levels of private security.

He added that as an association, they were working to bring everybody in; the corporate security managers, equipment people and not just man guarding so that “if you are buying item A, you know that if it is from a licensed security company or a security service provider, you are buying the best.”

He maintained that “as part of the opportunities, apart from employment for manpower, our personnel are everywhere in nooks and crannies of this country. We provide intelligence to our government security agencies; we can help to reduce the burden on what the government security agencies are doing. But while we are talking about that, we need a national reorientation. It is very important; we need to tell people why they should buy into the Nigeria project, what it is to be a Nigerian.

“As part of our opportunities, we are raising revenue for the state, we are raising revenue for the federal government, we are raising revenue for the companies themselves in profits. So, there are vast opportunities if we can put our house in order.”

On his part, the Coordinator, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Lagos State, Barr. Lukas Koyejo who doubled as the Chairman of the event pointed out that the importance of security services cannot be overemphasized in Nigeria today with the advent of terrorism and escalation of violent crimes like banditry, armed robbery and kidnapping.

Koyejo noted that the capacity and resources of the conventional government security architecture had been constantly overstretched adding that the pendulum of dealing with the emerging security situations in the urban areas as well as the country sides made the complementary provision for security by private companies and organizations indispensable.

“Security is the primary duty of every government and generally, the government is responsible to provide security to the people and they do though they have their limitations. Many times, it is not possible for government to provide the safety and security services adequately due to certain exigencies as earlier pointed out and there comes in the role of private security agencies and organizations which provides the best required services to individuals, group of people and even rebuilding of societies. Today, we have the private security companies providing security for communities.

“So, the role of private security companies and organization is very much important that it is imperative for the government to regulate its activities and monitor the operations adequately hence the enactment of legislations to regulate and provide the licensing of private security companies which is known as the Private Guard Companies Act 1986 and by virtue of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Act No. 2 of 2003, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps is empowered to license, supervise and monitor the activities of the Private Guard Companies.”

He recalled that in the past, the private companies were providing mostly monotype security services like providing security for a public building even as he observed that due to the situation in the country today, the escalation of crimes in urban areas and suburbs, there had been a revolutionary change in demand for services due to increased risk of human crimes.

“So, that is why we have the communities requiring for private security organizations. So, we have organizations like OPC coming in and providing security and some other organizations like that and those organizations need to be regulated, government needs to come in to regulate them so that they will operate according to a standard that is expected in order to protect the human rights of the people.

“The duty of security officers includes protecting people, places and properties from potential threats of attack, although the security officers’ job description varies, depending on the specific work set but security guard duties focused primarily on crime prevention.

Therefore, there is need for private security services to be adequately equipped with more advanced instruments, arms and especially technology to prevent and assist the conventional security services in curbing endemic criminality in the country. It is in view of the above that we appreciate today’s gathering of stakeholders and partners to discuss and chart a better path for private security governance in Nigeria.

“Conventional security force is to deter criminals who are intent on committing dent, vandalism, sabotage, physical violence and even terrorism. So, without the proactive work of the security guards, law enforcement will actually be overwhelmed as it will add to crimes that otherwise will likely be prevented” he stated.