The Lagos Chapter 206 of the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), comprising industrial security practitioners, has advocated a strategic and structured partnership between the private security industry and government-controlled security agencies in Nigeria.
This partnership, the society says, is viewed as crucial for achieving the much-required progress in addressing the perennial issues of insecurity in the country.
Recently, ASIS members converged at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan for their 2023 Leadership Retreat which aimed to develop innovative solutions to address the escalating insecurity in Nigeria and promote knowledge sharing and best practices among ASIS members.
The retreat had as its theme, ‘Secured Handshake: A Public and Private Sector Imperative for Effective Security Operations and Practice in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) World. Joko Olanitori, chairman of ASIS Chapter 206, emphasized the theme’s significance in today’s global space alongside Nigeria’s unique security challenges.
Olanitori stressed the urgent need for structured and formalised engagement between Nigerian public security agencies such as the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, DSS, and others, with the private security industry, to effectively address the growing insecurity in the country.
She said ASIS was committed, under her leadership, to collaborate with industry stakeholders and promoting meaningful synergy between private security operators and public security institutions in Nigeria, noting that there were millions of private security operatives across Nigeria.
“Imagine harnessing their potential by equipping them to gather and share security intelligence with their statutory counterparts. Through collaboration, we can leverage the vast amount of information from such sources to tackle security challenges in the country,” she said.
Solomon Arase, former Inspector General of Police and chairman of the Police Service Commission emphasized the pivotal role of public-private partnerships in enhancing security. He said that such partnerships could lead to improved security outcomes by leveraging the private sector’s resources and expertise to complement the government’s efforts. “Additionally, these collaborations can foster economic growth, as security plays a critical role in investor confidence,” he said.
However, Idam Ogbonna Agachi, a Brigadier-General (Rtd), urged the private and public security sectors in the country to engage in introspection and initiate collaboration with government institutions to bring about the much-needed positive change.
He was of the view that “to transform the current situation, society must first engage in introspection and subsequently collaborate with the public sector,” saying that that was the whole essence of a “secured handshake.”
Peter Okoloh, Assistant Regional Vice President of ASIS International Region 11A, highlighted the significance of a secured handshake between the private and public sectors. He emphasized that a significant number of private security operatives in Nigeria were located within local communities, giving them access to valuable intelligence.
Okoloh stressed that seamless collaboration between the private sector and statutory security bodies was vital for effective security solutions.
Wale Adeagbo, Director of Security Risk Advisory & Consulting at Halogen Group, acknowledged the inevitability of the handshake but canvassed a holistic approach requiring the redefinition of and broader scoping of all stakeholders in the security system.
He emphasised that compartmentalising the stakeholders in the security sector was insufficient. “Everyone needs to be involved. It goes beyond a handshake. It is inevitable due to the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous nature of our environment,” he said.
The annual retreat organised by the international industrial security body included edutainment sessions, business networking, and extensive knowledge sharing among its members.