By Frank Oshanugor
A retired Air Vice Marshall (AVM) in the Nigerian Air Force, Engr. Haruna Mohammed has described industrial security as a strategic and vital component of the entire security industry in contemporary Nigeria as availability of industries is what the country needs in solving the fundamental problems facing the citizens.
Speaking in his capacity as Chairman on Thursday at the 14th Annual Security Conference of the Nigerian Institute for Industrial Security (NIIS), Mohammed who was recently installed the Baradin Nupe, said “from my own analysis, the security threat we have in Nigeria comes from the large unemployed and underemployed people.”
He noted that the strength of any nation largely depends on its industrial capacity to provide employment for the citizenry. He emphasised that the industrial strength of Nigeria can provide solution to the problem of insecurity if the industries have enough capacity to provide employments for the jobless population.
In the light of this, the former Air Force officer posited that industrial security has become germane and critical for the existence and growth of industries in the country.
President of the Institute, Alhaji Isa Ozi Salami in his welcome address said the NIIS has always used the platform of its annual lectures to address the security challenges facing Nigeria and proffered solutions to those challenges. He however pointed out that overtime, it has been realised that the industrial scene has changed.
According to him, “the industries of today are not like the industries of yester-years. There is a serious paradigm shift which has automatically made security to take a new dimension. Security has become so dynamic and the environment is massively changing such that we must develop new kind of strategies to enable us meet the challenges.”
“Ideally, we should be ahead of the challenges. We should plan to always be ahead in view of the fast changing global environment. We should always be protective as far as the security challenges are concerned. Hence NIIS has chosen the theme of this two-day conference.”
With the theme as “Redesigning The Technical & Corporate Governance Strategy of Private Security In Asset Protection In The New World Order,” the two-day conference holding at the Lagos Airport Hotel has drawn quite a good number of participants from the industrial security sector.
In his good will message, the Lagos State Commandant of the Nigeria Security & Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC) Douglas Eweka Okoro represented by Deputy Commandant Daniel Apeh commended NIIS for always standing out in proffering solutions to myriad of security challenges.
The Managing Director of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission, Mr. Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa while commending NIIS for consistently organising the annual Security conference noted that for the fact that Alhaji Isa Ozi Salami is the President of Institute, there would no doubt of the enviable position NIIS would occupy in Nigeria’s security industry.
He added that given the position already attained by NIIS with respect to security issues in Nigeria, security agencies in the country should find it convenient to work with the Institute in certain areas such as VIP Protection.
Speaking on the sub-topic titled “Restructuring and redirecting the role of private security practice in Nigeria,” the Executive Secretary of the NIIS, Dr. Wilson Esangbedo gave a historical emergence of Nigeria’s private security industry within which industrial security finds its place.
He explained that the industry as the name suggests has over the years been built from one stage to the other by the industry operators with some regulatory measures from the government.
According to him, operators in the industry have come under one umbrella known as Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN) with him as the current National President. He noted that as one body, the operators could now speak to government with one voice.
Speaking largely on the current security challenges across the country, Esangbedo said there needed to be a re-awakening with a view filling the void that existed in the security architecture of the country.
Citing instance with the 2020 EndSARS protest which ignobly turned out to be a heinous attack on the police personnel and formations, the NIIS boss said “it was a sad moment for our country as the police who ought to protect the citizenry became victims of attack from those who perhaps wanted justice from law enforcement.”
He posited that there was a void in the security arrangement of the country as private security companies with the large population of personnel would have provided alternative when police were off the streets following the attacks during EndSARS if the private security personnel were allowed to carry arms.
Barrister Esangbedo however, expressed optimism that with the current collaboration between the NSCDC and ALPSPN, there would soon be a paradigm shift in a manner that all operators in the industry would be trained and professionalized.
Other resource persons who took the participants on intensive security related topics included Peter Okoloh, the Vice Chairman of PR24 Nigeria Limited. He spoke on “Making private security operate optimally in the new world order.”
Another high stake practitioner in the industry with far reaching security experiences from various countries who delivered lecture at the conference was Dr. Raymond Obaji. He spoke on two sub-topics namely “Effect of business disruption on corporate security planning and management” and also “Managing Communal Crisis: The Role of corporate Security Management.”
The conference will feature other guest speakers on Friday and they include Mrs. Tanwa Ashiru, the Chief Executive Officer of Bulwark Intelligence, Dr(Mrs) Victoria Ekhomu of Transworld Security Limited, Dr. Wale Adeagbo and Mr. Anthony Oghoghorie.