The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has said Nigeria needs private security firms to address insecurity in the country.
He made this known in Calabar during a retreat organised by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, and the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria.
The retreat held on Thursday had the theme, ‘New Dynamics for Security Practice in Nigeria’.
The Minister whose speech was read by his Senior Special Adviser on Strategy, Ademola Adeyinka, called on private security firms in the country to be prepared to fill the gaps.
He said, “There is no doubt that we need private security firms. In a situation where there is a shortage of personnel, there is bound to be challenges, so this is where private security firms fill the gap and they should be prepared to play certain roles.”
He said the roles they should play should include providing security for their clients at the lower level, prepare their personnel to assist the security agencies with gathering and transmission of critical information as well as standardised training and renumeration.
Aregbesola said the Ministry of Interior will like to collaborate with them on establishing a training and certification institution for all categories of private security firms.
He said the retreat is timeous given its objective of sharpening and shaping the role of private security operators in the general security architecture of Nigeria.
In his speech at the event, the National President of ALPSPN, Wilson Esangbedo, identified some challenges faced by private security firms in the country.
“Our operators are operating under very harsh and difficult business environment. The Federal Ministry of Labour Employment and Productivity is harassing our operators to obtain recruiters’ licences to deploy guards.
“We also have the issue of very high tax assessment besides sundry fees our operators are forced to pay in various states of operation,” Esangbedo noted.