Insecurity: Diplomats, Stakeholders Discuss Mercenaries, Private Security Operatives
In the wake of the growing insecurity in the country and the renewed call to engage mercenaries to tackle the menace, the embassy of Switzerland and the embassy of Germany and several other stakeholders have also urged the Nigerian government to leverage on the private Military and security companies to augment the “overwhelmed” Public security architecture.
These stakeholders made this call at the Nigeria Montreux Document (MD) and International Code of Conduct (ICoC) Roundtable organized by the AFRILAW foundation in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Deputy Ambassador, Swiss Embassy, Mr. Lucas Schiffierie said Nigeria can improve its security situation if it domesticates the MD and ICoC documents noting that they have tremendous opportunity to support national process for strengthening good governance of the Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) in Nigeria.
The deputy director who was represented by Babatunde Ajala, Senior Political and Economic Officer, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, noted that the MD is supported by the 57 countries and 3 international organisations.
Bernt-Michael Gelpke, first secretary, German Embassy, while describing the roundtable as timely in view of the “complex security” situation that the country is posed with, urged tye Nigerian government to be open to dialogue towards domesticating the documents to enhance efficiency of private security sector and the overall security architecture.
“It is logical that to think about how to improve governance of the private security company , giving the importance of the role it is playing in many countries of the world .
“Improved governance of private security sector will also lead to improved efficiency and effectiveness of the security sector as a whole, this is something we should all strive for”, he said.
“Private security is playing an important part of the overall complex security situation and it’s important to work on improving governance of the very complex security situation Nigeria is being faced”, he said.
The founder/CEO AFRILAW, Chinwike Okereke Esq. noted that private security personnel is higher than other public security outfits with over 500,000 personnel across the country and approximately 1,500 private security companies, but regretted that the sector has not gotten the level if attention it deserves from government.
Okereke stated that the security situation is worsening and the public outfits are overwhelmed, hence the need for government to engage and standardise the operation of private security guards.
“Nigerians have an increasing cases of insecurity, violent crimes . We all know that public security actors have been overwhelmed and that has brought to the fore the importance of private security as a critical and major stakeholders in providing security to the country.
The CEO further regrets that the private security sector is currently in a sorry state, with lingering issues around legal framework, welfare training professional conduct, poor Public perception of the industry, among others.
He urged government to join the MD Forum and the ICoC Association where guidelines on how to improve the standards in the private security sector are discussed.
“The sector needs a lot of improvement, there is a lot of disregard to what they can do and the value they can add, but the sector us struggling they have a lot of challenges, if improved, they will be well positioned to perform better and that will augment the public security agencies”, he said.
“Engaging them can also create employment opportunity as it will engage the youth, it’s a very big sector for employment”, he added.
The Commandant General, NSCDC, Abdullahi Muhammadu, who was represented by DCC Tijani Usman, noted that private security companies are part and parcel of the security architecture and urged all stakeholders to put hands in deck toward improving the sector.
In the same vein, the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSN), reiterated that repositioning the private security company will help tackle the challenge of security.
Mr. Chris Adigwu, National Secretary, ALPSN, noted that Nigeria will not advance economically until it gets security right.