Leading industry professionals in the background check industry in Nigeria have set up an independent non-profit body named Society for Professional Background Screeners (SPBS).
The new body is aimed to, among other things, promote ethical business practices, foster awareness of the need for a background check as a security risk imperative, and establish acceptable and evidence-based standards for background screening professionals in Nigeria.
According to the professionals, SPBS will also advance industry objectives by providing the standards, competencies development, operating framework, support, and forum for practice-exchange of innovation and ideas, using technology.
Kola Olugbodi, pioneer chairman of the association, speaking at the event organized to unveil the new body, said background check as the first line of security management needed to be strengthened and harmonized for more qualitative and effective service delivery.
“To bring sanity to the state of insecurity in the country, every stakeholder should make effort to contribute his/her quota. All hands must be on deck to change the negative narrative.
“As key stakeholders in the security sector involved in the process of investigating, verifying and validating someone’s record, we have found it important to work together for improved service delivery, hence the formation of this association,” he noted.
Olugbodi who is also the CEO, Background Check International, disclosed that the aim of the body included “self-regulation, standardization of practice, making background checking a regular practice by an individual and corporate organization and also making serious efforts to curtail the seemingly teething problems of the industry which is the void of collation and organization data.”
Corroborating the urgent need to create a national body like SPBS, Wale Olaoye, managing director, Halogen Group and member of the Board of Trustees of the new association, disclosed that the association had been created to shape up the security space and make it more vibrant and proactive.
Citing many fatal national and individual security case studies which, according to him, would have been mitigated if background screening was carried out, he counselled that background checks should be taken more seriously.
He stressed the need for the creation of criminal records in the country to nip in the bud integrity issues mostly experienced in the industrial sector.
“The issue of national security in the country today has no single silver bullet that can solve it but there are non-kinetic sides of risk management that can help mitigate it if we start today by embracing background screening. SPBS has come as a proactive body to create more awareness, set policies and standards for global practices and ensure it is inculcated into our national security architecture,“ he said.
The workshop which was themed, Standardisation of Identity Verification and Background Checks as National Security Imperative’ had in attendance security stakeholders and professionals, including Disun Vera-Cruz, COO, Town Talk; Peter Okoloh, Executive Chairman, ASIS, Lagos Chapter; Abubakar Abdulkadir Jelani, Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON); Oluseyi Akinkugbe, Head of Strategy, Youverify; Ope Olugasa, CEO, Law Pavilion; Dayo Abegunde, Director, VSS, Halogen Group, and Engineer Mustapha Lusty, CEO, Kontz Engineering.