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Women in the Business of Security

The security business is mostly dominated by men. Jennesse Haruna, Tanwa Ashiru and Buduka Julia Johnson are proving that efficiency is beyond gender, it is about the ability to deliver and possession of the requirements to perform. Through their security businesses, they are providing safety for lives, goods and states in Nigeria.

Jennesse Haruna, MD, Spytech Security & Guards Ltd

Jennesse Haruna is managing Director of Spytech Security & Guards Ltd, a proficient security and risk management professional with over a decade of experience building, growing, and managing a resilient private security business with an active presence in 22 states of Nigeria, providing physical security, security advisory, security training, due-diligence, and employee vetting.

She has developed and delivered client solutions in health and safety, risk management, security consultancy and advisory, security assessment and audit. She also provides security solutions to government, embassies, NGOs, housing estates, offices, shopping malls, including local and international high risk clients/VIPs.

She is the founder of POIcheck, a technology-based due-diligence service that helps employers instantly verify and confirm the true identities and work history of their staff.

As a female professional in the security business, she believes strongly in applying a holistic approach to addressing security issues, and that there’s a need for more education and re-orientation on the importance of family safety as the bedrock to national security in Nigeria.

She runs @safetyafrica, a security and safety blog educating the public and most importantly women through sharing audiovisual family safety tips on IG.

Today, Jennesse is well recognised within the security industry for her tenacity, professionalism, and dedication to the advancement of the security industry in Nigeria. She has received awards from ASIS international, Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria, Nigerian Youth Security Network and currently serves as the liaison for women in security for ASIS International in Abuja.

Read Also: How Business Security Is Affected By Cryptocurrency?

Security Business

She attended Queens College Yaba, Lagos for secondary education, then went on to study Law at the University of Surrey UK, subsequently attended University of Wales Trinity St David (formerly Lampeter) for her MBA with Entrepreneurship. She has taken courses in Terrorism Studies from University of St Andrews UK, school security, child safety, paediatric first aid, managing security operations and is a certified Security & Risk Management Consultant, UK.

She is a co-founder of Haruna John Foundation committed to supporting and advocating for servicemen and their families.

Memories of childhood

I grew up in the barracks, so security has always been around me. I am blue blood through and through, but I never imagined that I would end up doing anything remotely close to security. From primary school, I liked naira and kobo although I wasn’t good at maths, for some reasons I have always been good with numbers. Trading was natural to me, so at the age of 17, I started my first real business which was making and designing jewellery, uninfluenced or coerced by anyone; I registered for one of the first classes at Crafties, I would later use my birthday money I was given by my dad to buy some beads, pliers and strings, which I started to sell to family friends. I remember my story went around the barracks as it was unusual at that time for anyone my age to actively seek work on their own or more so think of starting a business. But I guess my unusualness propelled my dad at the time to consider sending me abroad to study. Although he did not have the money or an idea of where the money would come from as a public servant, I saw one of the biggest demonstrations and manifestations of faith ever. It wasn’t also like we knew people that were travelling or had travelled abroad but somehow, it happened that I went and completed my studies and when the time was over, I returned home; another unusual decision at the time.

Starting Spytech Security & Guards

Although I started the company, I didn’t set it up. My dad was getting ready for retirement as he had gotten to the end of his career as a police officer, so necessary plans were made for registration and so on but he, unfortunately, passed away before he could retire.

Spytech is an enterprise security and risk management company that has over the years provided solutions in physical security, event management, advisory, training, due diligence, and vetting. We have serviced government offices both national and international, Non-governmental organisations, housing estates, shopping malls, schools, companies, and VIP clients.

How challenging has your business been?

If running a business is an extreme sport, running a security business especially with personnel is an extremely dangerous sport. Sometimes, I ask myself “who sent you?”
The biggest challenge is personnel management, managing people is not easy, and managing people where risk and safety are involved can be very technical. There are several factors to consider. The second biggest challenge is not the clients but our failed legal system that does not allow for proper enforcements of contracts; allowing security companies to be taken advantage of without recusing the law. We have both government and private clients that are owing security companies. Clients want to use us in place of insurance whilst they have not fulfilled the terms of their contracts.

Does being a woman make your work more difficult?

Being a woman is difficult, and being a woman in an industry that is perceived to be a men’s only or an old boy’s club has its peculiarities because, you have to work twice as hard to prove your worth and value to be able to compete for jobs.

We are sometimes overlooked or not just considered for big jobs if we do not have a male escort. But most of the victories of any security operations are in proactive security intelligence gathering, strategies, and planning.

Ever experienced any situation where you were given a negative response because you are female?
I started in this industry and company as a business development officer; my plans at the time were to get the business running, then leave but then we went to apply for a security job at an agency, we were later told that my company wasn’t serious because they sent a woman. That woman was me! This did not just infuriate me, but also had the positive effect of making me want to prove them wrong. I’m a type A, choleric, but that’s not someone you want to relegate.

How are you soaring amidst the challenges?

I take the bull by the horn quite literally. To be honest, it is not as apparent as it used to be ten years ago when I was much younger. But for others, there is more awareness and encouragement from security organisations like ASIS international and ALPSPN, who are supporting women looking to join the industry.

How have you been able to actively permeate 22 states of Nigeria with your services?

We have built security operational systems that we can replicate and manage whilst ensuring the integrity of our service is not suffering. And of a truth, this is the reason why we haven’t covered all 36 states because we have deliberately restricted ourselves to areas where we are operationally and logistically able to deliver a standard of service to our clientele without over-trading.

What is POI-CHECK?

POI-CHECK is a technology-based due-diligence service that helps employers instantly verify and confirm the true identities and work history of their staff. The POI-CHECK verification system requires the employer to sign up the employee, select type of verification task or plans (Task include: Guarantor verifications, previous employment verification, address verification, medical check, credential vetting), after which a report will be set to the employer.

Give us details on Safety Africa

@safetyafrica is a security and safety blog on Instagram educating the public on the importance of having proper security plans and awareness as individuals and as a family.

How have you been able to build credibility?

The biggest way I have been able to build credibility is by being knowledgeable and professional in my field. I am very cautious of my personal and organisational development.

We are very deliberate about continuous improvements within the organisation whether we are improving our systems, services delivery or communication style. There is always something to be improved upon which leads to additional areas of learning or upskilling.

I am also very active in my industry; I am the first female treasurer and youngest executive official of the Association of Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria. I am the women liaison officer for ASIS international chapter 273. I have attended several security courses in terrorism studies, school security, child safety, managing security operations, soft target, cyber security, I have attended several seminars and workshops, and I am a certified security and risk management consultant. I have a degree in Law and an MBA.

How important is security?

My approach to security, especially personal safety, is very holistic. As such, I define it for that purpose as “security represents your sense of worth, your identity, your emotional anchorage, your self-esteem, your basic personal strength or lack of it”.

Everything that we are or do is centred around the quality of security we enjoy; be it physical, social, financial, emotional or mental security, our overall safety or sense of insecurity can be linked to how we interact with others.

Since 2009, Nigeria has battled with terrorism in the Northeast from the Boko Haram and ISWAP groups who have successfully capitalised on the social, financial, emotional or religious vulnerabilities of the viable youths which the system has taken for granted. Or the narrative can be likened to an organisation, say a logistics company that fails to ensure that they have an effective enterprise risk security management in place, and leaves its truck with an unfit driver who ends up in a crash causing loss of lives, loss of property i.e items to be delivered amongst others.
The company’s reputation and business continuity could be threatened by this incident and the effects could be far-reaching.

Why security in the home should not be ignored

It is important in this fast-paced world that we live in today that parents are skilled in family safety; not just being conscious of physical security or environmental parameters, but that they are equipping themselves with the requisite knowledge for proactive and positive parenting required to tackle the risk and threats that comes with living in a global village.

I guess parenting before our time was so much easier because we lived in villages or small communities where you knew the kids and the family your children were interacting with. We wore our values like a badge of honour and right to associate; this made parenting easy in my opinion. Today, parents do not communicate values to their children and hence they do not require or enforce these values on those their kids associate with, making it risky for children whose playmates or influencers may be thousands of kilometres away in cyberspace.

What advice do you have for the Nigerian government on security?

I would like to speak directly to the National Security Adviser, who in 2019 published a document titled the National Security Strategy which gathered quite a bit of media attention and commentary at the time. However till date, we are yet to see or receive updates as mentioned in the document of the progress of these strategies. I am particularly, very interested in chapter 6 of the document which focuses on political, socio-cultural and gender-related issues. In my opinion, that chapter is a beautiful piece of literature on paper that requires a lot more attention than we may be paying to it, and this is possibly due to the patriarchal antecedents of the practice of security that for a long time excluded women and overlooked the crucial role women play and can play in the national security.

As I said earlier, security is holistic and it is viewed in the light that our strategy will reflect our genuine efforts to combat the various security challenges we are facing from terrorism in the north, banditry, insurgency in the west and east, cultism and drug abuse. These are issues that are best tackled at the grassroots level, and it all starts from our homes.

How important is the synergy between private security companies and the government?

One of my favourite quotes is that “security of citizens is the main purpose of any government”. So, we agree that security is crucial to our collective existence as a nation right? But we also know that the government cannot efficiently manage and provide all public services for its citizens and this is where the private sector steps in to provide these services in support and collaboration with the government. Thus, we receive our operational powers or license if you may, from the government through the Ministry of Interior via The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, whose duty it is to register, license and regulate our affairs. As security practitioners, we are present in all 36 states, every local government, council or village that exists in this nation; we are the single largest employer of labour in the country employing over 1 million security personnel; whether formally or informally. We have the intelligence resources and capability to work with the government in the area of information gathering more than any other sector, including the legal and armed forces combined. The private security industry and professionals with our various specialisations and capabilities are great assets to our national security and in turn our global economic attractiveness as an investment option.

Has your legal background played a major role in your business?

I knew from the onset that I did not necessarily want to practice law even before going in for the program. It was between business and law but I am not sure I regarded or had any significant interest in studying business as an undergrad, so I went with law and I have never regretted it. Coming into business as a lawyer has its advantages; for instance, it has always been easier to relate with professional lawyers when we need any form of contracting work or advice. And also the security industry deals a lot with risk, threats, insurance liabilities and responsibilities, so it is also crucial that our communications are as professional as possible for proper messaging and interpretation on both sides.

How do you recruit your personnel who render requested services?

Adhering to best recruitment practices is crucial to engaging all staff and personnel that work with us. We make sure they apply formally, are interviewed, go through a selection stage that also involves ensuring that they are adequately vetted, and have proper forms of identification before they can be trained, fully employed and deployed.

What advice do you have for women who want to join your line of business?

Security is a very honourable and professional field, it is not a men-only club, women are very much welcomed here, and there is a need for women to join the industry at all levels to bring in varied perspectives and insights to solving the current security challenges bedevilling us as a nation.

Tanwa Ashiru, CEO, Bulwark Intelligence Solutions

Tanwa Ashiru is the founder of Bulwark Intelligence Solutions

 

Tanwa Ashiru is the founder of Bulwark Intelligence Solutions, a top security risk management company in Africa, and is a Fellow of the Association of Enterprise Risk Management Professionals (AERMP).

Tanwa is a U.S Air Force veteran and has over 18 years of experience in Intelligence Analysis. She worked in the U.S Department of Defence (DoD), and the U.S National Security Agency (NSA). She served 180 days in Afghanistan and was involved in counter-insurgency, counter IED and counter-terrorism operations in Southwest Asia, Middle East and Africa.

Tanwa holds an M.A in Intelligence Studies from the School of Security and Global Studies at American Military University (AMU), West Virginia, USA. She is an exclusive member of the invite-only Golden Key International Honour Society; an elite honour society dedicated to academic excellence and a commitment to lead and serve.
Tanwa has provided services for various public and private sector organisations including: NATO, Nigerian DIA, U.S Army Africa Forces (USARAF), Total E&P, IBM Nigeria, U.S Embassy Abuja and many more. She features regularly in several international media publications including: BBC World, Arise News, CNBC Africa, The Guardian Nigeria, Channels Television, Financial Times and more.

Early years

I grew up in Satellite Town, Lagos Nigeria. Much of who I am today was formed in what was a tidy, safe and tightknit community. I attended boarding school at Federal Government College Ijaniki Lagos. My experience growing up in Nigeria really influenced and continues to influence who I am today.

Let me put it this way, when I decided to join the military a few years after graduating from secondary school, I motivated myself by saying: If I survived boarding school in Ijaniki, I could survive American boot camp… at least they won’t flog me here!

Why did you establish Bulwark Intelligence Solutions?

I set up Bulwark Intelligence Solutions shortly after I had my second offspring. I was actively looking for employment but seemed to have a hard time securing a job in the industry and sector that I desired. I was encouraged to still put my skills to use. I began writing analysis reports on the north east insurgency and the use of explosive devices. That was how Bulwark was founded.

Today, our organisation provides enterprise security risk management services to both private and public sector clients. These risk management services range from risk assessments and advisory, intelligence reports, investigations, and trainings, to defence, intelligence, and security consultation.
Satisfied clients, referrals, repeat business tells me that we are on the right track. The services we provide gives much needed support to many security managers and chief security officers. We equip them with the necessary information, knowledge, and tools that they need to effectively perform their duties as the risk managers of their organisations.

Being a U.S Air Force veteran and the summary of your over 18 years of experience in intelligence analysis

There are many reasons why people join the US military. There are several benefits that are afforded you, both while you’re in and once you leave. My reason was the education benefits. The military paid for 100% of my university tuition while, I also got sought-after world-class training and work experience.

I worked as an intelligence analyst while I was in the service. Much of that role involved reading, monitoring, analysing reports, briefing leadership on key findings and proposing possible courses of action. It has been 10 years since I separated from active-duty military service, but the lessons I learned, the skill sets I acquired and the experiences I garnered are still very much with me.

What was your experience serving 180 days in Afghanistan?
Everyone’s experience in Afghanistan was different. I worked as a defence contractor in counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) operations in support of the Marines out there. At the time, IEDs were causing numerous fatalities and the US Department of Defence was putting a lot of effort into defeating the device.

My job was to stay updated on the trends, patterns and tactics that were used in producing and deploying the IEDs. We used this knowledge to device strategies and tactics to reduce successful incidents and their impact, as best as possible.

My role did not require me to “go outside the wire” (the term used to describe leaving the base). Much of what I did was within secured offices, so my life was never in direct danger. Our focus was in making sure that those who went out came back safely.

Share on your experience in counter insurgency, counter IED and counter-terrorism operations in Southwest Asia, Middle East and Africa.

Countering something, be it insurgency, IEDs or terrorism, is all about understanding the threat and devising methods to defeat the threat. My service in the military coincided with the Iraq and Afghan wars. Most intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations were focused on tackling the insurgency that had sprung up after combat operations commenced in these countries.

Again, to defeat something, you have to understand how it works, including what started it, what sustains it and what will possibly end it. My experience in this area helped me understand the drivers of terrorism and theater level insurgencies. Solutions had to be multifaceted and geared towards the local context. In other words, what worked in Iraq, wasn’t going to automatically work in Afghanistan.

Solutions to the insecurity problem in Nigeria should not focus on just aiming guns at people or paying them not to aim their guns back. It must be creative and customised to the local environment.

The Nigerian security leadership must also understand that as a nation dealing with multifaceted issues, each with diverse drivers, the solutions must equally come from diverse minds and must be multipronged.

Tell us more about your exclusive membership of the invite-only Golden Key International Honour Society

Golden key is a society that honours academic excellence and leadership. I’ve always been a proponent of “Education as a panacea to insecurity”. Educated minds champion change and development. As Africans, we want to keep flying inside latest aircrafts, but care nothing to invest in the minds and industry that create such advancements. This is wrong.

If we are going to see an improvement in Nigeria, the government is going to have to invest significantly in overhauling the education system and sector. Imagine if we had 200 million highly skilled and educated populace, this country will be unstoppable in development, growth, innovation and advancement.

What has your experience been, providing services for various public and private sector organisations?

I have always had a passion for national security, which is public sector inclined, owing to my background in defence. However, the more you look, the less you see. Working with the public sector in Nigeria has been challenging to say the least. The inherent motivation for change and/or results, is lacking compared to the private sector.

In the private sector, your ability to keep your job is based on merit and capability. Meaning if you perform poorly, you are out, and the next best person is in. Whereas the public sector allows low performers occupy and keep their jobs for reasons I still don’t understand. Some call it tradition and culture, others call it federal character, I say it is mediocrity and it is keeping us behind.

How often are you asked why you chose your type of business?

I always get that question. Interestingly, when I tell them I am a military veteran, they seem to understand why I got into this line of work. However, I would like us to start realising that having a security background is not a mandatory requirement for having a successful security industry career.

In fact, from what I have observed in Nigeria, most of the management level executives of security companies, do not have a national security or prior service background. The skill sets required to succeed in the security industry can be learned and get better over time.

Advice the Nigerian government on security

I will tell them that strengthening the education system of Nigeria should be considered a matter of top national security concern.

The minds of young Nigerians are moulded through the nation’s education system. What happens when you have large groups of Nigerians that have not gone through any educational system?

Who or what is moulding their minds?

If you look at the demographic of the persons that make up terrorist or criminal groups in this country, they are young boys with little to no education or opportunities. It is time to start steering and engaging these young minds in a more productive direction.

We cannot keep relying on foreign entities to give us the tools and equipment we need to secure our country. It is not done. Let us develop that capability in-house, in-country and export the same to other nations to boost our economy.

The day we start pumping money into strengthening the education system and sector, is the day things will begin to turn around in this country. Creativity and innovation in the areas of manufacturing, agriculture, defence and other industries will be the order of the day.

Why we need to be security conscious

Being security conscious is literally a matter of life and death. As citizens who have to survive in a country with poor law enforcement and poor emergency response, we have to learn how to prevent ourselves from being victims of the various threats across society.

Never to be forgotten

There are so many. But I will say my first day of boot camp. They don’t flog you, but they set out to break you. After day one, I remember asking myself “Who asked me to do this?” But I also remember graduation day, being proud of myself for making it through such a tough period of my life.

Being patriotic

Right after I completed university and my military service, I moved back to Nigeria. The truth is, even with all the challenges of this nation, Nigeria will always be home.

How are you being of service to Nigeria?

We currently provide training, advisory and consultation services for the various Nigerian security and intelligence agencies.

What Nigerians must know

No one will secure your homeland like you will. You cannot wait on hand-outs from other countries. Develop your own arsenal, take care of your people, take care of your service men, military and police.

Have you experienced patriarchy in your line of work?

I have, I don’t focus on it. I try to focus on my strengths and capabilities. I have a motto that if the service or product we are presenting is not enough to secure a job or contract, I cannot and will not go any further. Have I suffered by taking this stance? Absolutely, I get bypassed all the time. I don’t know if it is because of my gender, my tribe, my accent or whatever. What I do know is that, as women thought leaders and security experts, we bring a different and valuable perspective to the table.

We do operate in a patriarchal society, but there are many out there who value the contributions of women in the workspace and in the security industry. Repeated studies have shown that women are rated high at multi-tasking, taking initiative, resilience and self-development. A UN study showed that peace processes have up to 35% chance of lasting when women are involved. Women operate with compassion and empathy, are strategic thinkers and great at conflict resolution.

Advice to ladies who want to come into your field of business

There are so many facets in this field which cuts across national security, defence, intelligence, academia, cyber and private sector enterprise security risk management among others. I encourage women who are interested in the field to learn more about the various options.

They should join professional security groups such as ASIS International Women In Security (WIS). Our Lagos WIS Chapter provides mentorship, networking and leadership development opportunities for women in the industry.

In fact, we have our first Lagos WIS Conference coming up on the 25th November 2021. We are bringing together top management and executive level security industry women. We encourage those interested in the field to register for the online attendance and hear more from the amazing group of women on how to succeed in security.

Final words

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We must begin to try new options and strategies to secure the nation. It is time to allow diverse voices including youth and women, into the national security conversation, strategy and implementation. As a gender that represents the other 50% of the population, a seat at the table is imperative to bring about lasting peace, safety and security.

Buduka Julia Johnson, MD/CEO, EPSS Private Security Services Ltd

 

Buduka Julia Johnson is an accomplished entrepreneur 

 

Buduka Julia Johnson is an accomplished entrepreneur with expertise across various domains. She has a proven record in strategy and policy implementation.

In 2004 Buduka Johnson formed Injaz Limited. An IT consortium that has become globalised and has successfully worked with private and governments parastatals across the globe. Through her interactions with key players in government and private industries, the need to contribute to global human capital development became blatantly apparent.

This led to the establishment of Injaz Foundation. She has crafted and implemented policies to increase the quality of human capital in different sectors and regions of the world’s economy.

Under her direction, Injaz Foundation has provided computers systems and training to the underprivileged and physically challenged members of the society. Thus, buttressing her belief that every individual should be a viable economic unit.

She is passionate about building structures to facilitate inter and intra collaboration in data mining and analytics in Africa, a successful international information technology consultant and security trainer, having attended series of training, professional seminars and workshops across the world.

Having consulted for various high-profile organisations, she incorporated EPSS Private Security Services Ltd in 2007 (A high profile security organisation) where she serves as the MD. Due to her expertise, she was appointed to the board of Hamilton Technologies Limited (A drilling fluids company) as an Executive Director for 4 years. She also consults for other multinational corporations in diverse industries and maintains a good working relationship with various security agencies.

Buduka Johnson has been the welfare officer of the Association of All Licensed Private Security Practitioners of Nigeria (ALPSPN), Rivers State Chapter from 2014 to 2020 and was recently given an award of appreciation by the association in recognition of her service. She was also given an award of excellence by ASIS International chapter 206 and ALPSPN Lagos Zone, where she served as secretary to their 2020 Election. She is a Member of IFPO, AISSON, ALPSPN, IFSEC Global and different professional bodies in Nigeria. She is a Fellow member of Association of Applied Information Management Professionals of Nigeria, Nigerian Institute for Industrial Security (NIIS).

She is a Certified Protection Officer (CPO). She obtained her first degree in BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering, M.Sc. in Computing and Information Systems, both from the University of Greenwich, England.

She has worked with various youth groups to pursue Human Capital Development and Economic Empowerment. She is also involved in promoting and monitoring young entrepreneurs, and supports girl-child education and rural women development in Nigeria.

She is a woman adept at driving transformational programmes for quick results in line with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Key Performance Areas (KPAs) and Key Result Areas (KRAs) for high impact outcomes.

There is an urgent need for private and community security management, and the federal government must look for ways to harness the manpower strength of the private security sector in the country.

Where it all began

I was born in Port Harcourt and attended my primary education in Sokoto, Northern Nigeria and secondary school in River State southern Nigeria, I Studied Mathematics at University of Benin (UNIBEN) for a year but changed my part of study to Engineering at the University of Greenwich, England where I obtained a B.Eng. (Hons) in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, M.Sc. in Computing and Information Systems from the same University. Overall, I would say that my experiences with divers race, culture, religion and belief system has greatly influenced my being adventurous and daring.

Establishing Injaz

While studying for my MSc, I had resolved that I wanted to become an entrepreneur as I had acquired taste for holidays and dining experience in school. Also, I had imagined that being an entrepreneur would afford me freedom and allow me express my interest in creativity.

After my graduation in 2003, my sisters and I set up an IT firm, Injaz Limited in United Kingdom where I was the Managing Director. Shortly after establishing the company in UK, I wasn’t satisfied living there, and so I relocated to Nigeria in 2004 to form Injaz limited.

The goal of setting up Injaz is to care for the girl child, especially the less privileged in the society. During Christmas festivals, we host the different charity homes just to give them a sense of belonging by organising a party and sharing gifts.

Particularly in 2007, Injaz Foundation set up an IT / Business Centre for the blind, with branded computers and internet facilities to help them generate funds. An initiative the then president of the Blind Home in the person of Amachree said not even a state government had done that for them. Our plan is to continue to look for avenues to make impact in the lives of the girl child.

How are you crafting and implementing policies to increase the quality of human capital in different sectors and regions of the world’s economy?

I participate in various security forums in the country where I make contributions that affect the security sector. I am currently a committee member of a working group to develop a collaborative framework to inform and guide business and service relationships between private security providers and organisations that engage private security.

The national policy on security must take care of all aspects of security so that private security can tap from the national security policy and framework to develop standards.

Standards can help nations, organisations, communities and individuals improve their resilience in the face of security threats, both natural and man-made. This will in turn create opportunities for private security to thrive and also improve the economy.

In what ways are you passionate facilitating inter and intra collaboration in data mining and analytics in Africa?

The biggest challenge in Nigeria as a whole is that we lack facilities and available data repository that can, for instance, be accessed for mining. Basically, a necessary document as important as birth registration is a challenge in Nigeria and without having credible birth registration and obtaining a legal document that establishes an individual’s existence in the eye of the law, fighting crime and population planning will be difficult.

Tell us about the establishment of EPSS Private Security Services Limited

In 2007, I saw the business opportunity in the security industry, and the first thing I did was to research about how to set up a security firm in Nigeria.

I further identified my purpose and created my mission statement and from there, the next thing was to plan, develop and facilitate innovative and creative management procedures.

Being a successful international information technology consultant and security trainer
As a managing director of Injaz limited, I have been able to steer the company by managing IT departments of various organisations, thereby supporting them in developing applications to enhance and increase worker’s productivity and impacting on almost all aspects of their business operations including service quality.

As a security trainer, below are few tasks I accomplished in 2021.

I delivered lecture to outgoing Certified Protection Officers during AISSON virtual meeting/ graduation ceremony on: Security Entrepreneurship; Strategy formulation for the security operators (25th March 2021)

Delivered lecture at Babcock University to students in MBA in Security Management. Topic : Management of Private Security Company (April 2021)

I was on a panel to discuss Security Shifts In The Nigerian Space: What The Private Sector Should Be Thinking About. (18th April 2021)

I was a panelist at Nigeria Thought Leadership Webinar & Outstanding Security Performance Awards. Topic: Has The Pandemic Produced A New Type Of Security? Or Are Things Just The Same? Examining The Case Of Nigeria (June 30th 2021. I also facilitated an expert-led session on, Management of Private Security Company to Babcock university students of MBA In security management (25th July 2021).

What day in your line of security business that cannot be forgotten?

In December 2020, I was the secretary to the election committee to conduct the election for ASIS chapter 206, a very important role for that matter. On the same day as artiste manager, I had scheduled video shoot sessions for one of my artistes. How I juggled my two roles on same day was truly amazing to me.

In what ways are you working with various youth groups to pursue human capital development and economic empowerment?

Well, like my mentor and late friend Dr. Onah would always remind me that, sponsoring students to the school of management and security studies yearly is a great contribution to human capital development and economic empowerment.

Challenges of security in Nigeria

We cannot pretend about our numerous challenges in Nigeria that has troubled even our sleep. The federal government must deal with the root causes by addressing the basic welfare of her citizens, and some of the factors that fuels insecurity like poor government policies, corruption, poverty, unemployment, weak judiciary system and poor leadership.

The need for synergy to aid better results

There is an urgent need for private and community security management, and the federal government must look for ways to harness the manpower strength of the private security sector in the country.

We are gradually moving away from federal policing into state policing, and so the provision of security is no longer the sole responsibility of the federal government and its institutions
The private guard companies will create more employment opportunities and pay tax directly to the Federal Government.

Advice to women who desire to be in your line of business

To begin with, I have a quote that says “Success has no gender. Focus, resilience and undaunted zeal makes the difference “. There are diverse opportunities in the security sector such as installers, cyber security, hackers, flying a drone and so on, and women who have interest in security should join relevant security groups, as they are able to provide inspiration, leadership development and mentorship to women in the security sector.

Why we all need to take security serious as individuals or nation

We have a security quote in EPSS that says “Insecurity is a global challenge, but everyone’s responsibility. Report any suspicious activities as safely and as fast as possible. You might just save your life and others”.

The provision of security is no longer the sole responsibility of the federal government and its institutions, but everyone has a part to play.

Have you experienced challenges being a female in the security business?

In my entrepreneurship journey, I don’t focus on my weaknesses but I have always strategised and looked for opportunities, and noting the things that pose threats, update my business continuity plan to be able to navigate around it.

What are your personal and professional challenges?

The security sector has its own peculiar challenges. The reality is that the role of the private security sector is limited to the laws guiding their operation. Part of my advocacy is for the placement of private security industry in the national security strategy, by sponsoring a legislative bill to the National Assembly to review the Private Guard Companies ACT of 1986.

Final words

I am truly delighted granting this interview, to share my experience as a female entrepreneur in the private security sector in Nigeria.

It takes special grace, courage and discipline to remain in business for 17years in Nigeria. I want to encourage all females that you have something to offer, and you can do what other men and women can do.

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