The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has issued operational licenses to 24 Private Guard Companies (PGCs) to strengthen Nigeria’s security architecture.
A statement by NSCDC Director Public Relations, Mr Olusola Odumosu, said that the licences were issued on Thursday at NSCDC Headquarters, Abuja.
The NSCDC Commandant General, Dr Ahmed Audi, said that 24 PGCs charged the new PGC operators to contribute their quota to promoting internal security as the nation tilts towards the yuletide and the 2023 general elections.
He said that tackling the menace of insecurity in the country requires collective and collaborative efforts of government, private security agencies and all Nigerians.
He reiterated that because the security challenges confronting the nation are asymmetric in nature, PGCs have vital roles to play in ensuring peace, safety and security.
The CG advised the new operators to adhere strictly to the law guiding their operations, urging them to ensure prompt annual renewal of their operational licences.
He said that consistent renewal will prevent being clamped down by the CG’s Special Task Force set up to supervise and monitor PGC operations nationwide.
He warned that licences were not transferable, and personnel of the companies were not permitted to bear firearms.
“For now there would be no use of fire arms, bouncers or bodyguards in your operations, it is criminal to do so.
“You are however free to visit our nearest formation closest to you for assistance whenever you are faced with overwhelming challenges,” Audi said.
The CG also emphasised on guards welfare, noting that, his administration will not condone any act of maltreatment of field operators by PGCs operators.
“Don’t give peanuts as salaries which could make the boys compromise and be lured into criminal acts very easily,” he warned.
He called on the new operators to see NSCDC as not only their regulator but a dependable ally and partner. (NAN)