The Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN), has called on Licensed Private Guards (PGC) operators to complement the Federal Government’s efforts in ensuring adequate security in the country.
The ALPSPN President, Mr Wilson Esangbedo, while speaking with a News Agency of Nigeria Correspondent on Tuesday in Abuja, encouraged members to play active roles in safeguarding the nation.
Esangbedo said it is important for the security operators to engage in intelligence gathering and timely reports sharing with security agencies.
He said that Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the regulator of the association, has been very supportive to them.
He said that the NSCDC recently issued operating licences to over 30 PGCs across the country.
The president, however, said that some of the security guards companies were find it difficult to renew their operating licence due to the harsh economic environment.
“Because we have a database of members, before expiry we call and remind them on the need to renew their licence and contact us for further inquiries.
“The renewal rate has improved but the business environment is not friendly now, so we have some members struggling to renew their licences.
“Some are doing well, some are not doing well, some are not doing well at all,” Esangbedo said.
The Association Head further called on PGC operators yet to register with the association to do so.
“I have told them it is in their interest to be part of the association in order to protect their interests.
“If they are not in and have issues, we cannot give them the support they need,” he said.
Esangbedo said that the association has over 1,000 members, adding that the number changes based on circumstances in their operations.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has issued operating licences to 20 Private Guard Companies (PGCs) and warned against the bearing or use of arms.
NSCDC Commandant General (CG), Ahmed Audi, in Abuja on Wednesday presented the licences with a stern warning.
Audi said that the licences were issued because they met with the standard of operations after several procedures and scrutiny.
“ The position you occupy is very central and germane to the existence of this country as long as security is concerned.
“This operating licence is not for business profits alone but an opportunity for you to contribute your quota to security,” he said.
He charged PGCs to give timely, credible and reliable intelligence, security reports to the corps for further actions.
“You must turn in intelligence security reports on monthly basis but very important reports should be turned in immediately.
“ Report to the corps all suspicious activities and movements around you.
“No service has monopoly of knowledge to tackle the insecurity the country is currently facing as we must all come together,” he said.
He warned that the corps would not hesitate to tackle PGCs who deviated from the standard of operations.
The CG further warned that operating licences of those who refused to renew would be revoked, stressing that licences were not transferable.
“ Upon close expiry of your licence, you must submit your letter of renewal three months before expiry and must register all staff,” he said.
He directed NSCDC state Commands to accompany PGCs to assignments that might portend danger.
“Trainings must involve the corps and on no account should any PGC change their headquarters or offices without informing the corps,” he warned.
He charged all representatives of PGCs to think of utmost importance of the welfare of staff.
“Underpayment of guards is unacceptable as their welfare should be considered to receive best duty results,” he said.
Dr Wilson Esangbedo, President of the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN), assured of the association’s continuous collaboration with the corps.
Esangbedo advised PGCs to do everything within their power to protect their licences by following strictly, the regulations guiding their operations.
He further advised that any information that would help security agencies in the fight against criminals, should be reported immediately to avoid it being stale and unuseful.
“When you see something please say something by passing the information to the relevant agencies.
“This is because we are situated in all the LGA in the country and if we do our part we will complement the efforts of the corps,” he said.
Mr Ferdinand Esiegwu, Assistant Commandant General of PGC department, appreciated the CG for revamping the PGC unit of the corps.
Esiegwu said that the operators had been screened and found worthy both in character and training to run the affairs of PGC.
He advised the PGC representatives to put all they learnt from the corps into practice while starting their security operations.
Mr Olumide Ijogun, Managing Director, Desert Storm Ltd, advocated for collaboration as opposed to competition among the security organisations.
He enjoined his colleagues to comply with the regulations set by NSCDC because they were non-negotiable.
He appreciated the corps for the licences and assured that the PGCs would put the security of the country as of utmost importance.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC),says that private security companies should upscale the skills of their guards to enable them do their jobs properly and support security agencies to fight crime.
Dr Hammed Abodunrin, NSCDC Ondo State Commandant, made the call when the newly- inaugurated executives of Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN)in the state visited him on Wednesday in Akure.
Abodunrin, while receiving the new executives led by Mr Tunde Akande, said that government alone could not handle all the needs of security, health, education and other vital sectors in the country.
“Everyone appears to now be in panic mode.
That is the antics of terrorists.
It is affecting the psyche of an average person on the street.
“We need to work harder to give assurances of life when God has granted it.
“Now that the situation is like this, private guards operators should train and retrain their guards to meet the present day challenges in the country.
“Even though they do not bear arms, they wear uniforms and they are also soft targets for criminals.
So we need to upscale their skills in modern security,” he said.
According to him, beyond just opening gates at the bank, the guards need appropriate training to be skillful and Ondo NSCDC is ready to help in facilitating such training.
“We need to go beyond the slogan ‘when you see something, say something’.
You can only say something meaningful when you understand what you see.
“We need to move to being able to properly identify what we see.
“Massive public awareness is the way to go.
Not even now that access to security agencies premises are more controlled, coupled with confidence crisis between some operatives and members of the public.
“Beyond just earning salaries, the private guards should see themselves as rendering services,” he said.
Responding, Akande, Chairman of appreciated the commandant and the role NSCDC played in mediation during the crisis the association had.
“Your timely intervention during the imbroglio in our association led to the election of this new exco.
“We shall do all in our power to reposition private guards companies in the state for better service delivery,” he said.