African Law Foundation (AFRILAW), a non-governmental Organization and a pioneer voice on Private Security Governance and Reforms in Nigeria has reiterated the need to push for legal framework that would help regulate the industry in accordance with international standards and best practices.
The Organization said the legal framework when put in place will address myriad of challenges confronting the industry such as capacity, lack of Databank by the regulators, as well as poor remuneration, lack of respect for human rights amongst others.
This was made known in Abuja at a 2-day Capacity Building Workshop for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Media as well as Public Presentation of Toolkit on Private Security Governance challenges and the Relevance of International Norms and Best Practices in Nigeria, during the week.
Speaking on why the Workshop is imperative, Barrister Chinweike, Chief Executive and Founder of the Organization said:
“This Capacity Building Workshop and launching of the Toolkit are part of activities under the “Strengthening Private Security Regulation and Oversight in Nigeria” project being implemented by AFRILAW and Geneva Center for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) in partnership with Private Security Governance Observatory and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)”
While speaking on the importance of Toolkit he said the toolkit was developed to empower a strong and informed civil society and media.
“The overall objective of making this toolkit available to all participants is to provide updated information on the various challenges linked with private security companies’ activities in Nigeria, with detailed overview for each of the six geographical regions of the country; and providing guidance to CSOs and media on international norms and best practices.
“The guide draws on the three main source of international norms and good practices for the good governance of PSCs namely the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (the Code), the Montreux Document on Private Military and Security Companies and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs)” he said.
Chief Executive, NextierSPD Nwokolo, Dr Nwokolo who was amongst the speakers at the Workshop laid emphasis on the role of civil oversight functions for the Private Security Industry in Nigeria which is the gap the capacity building for CSOs and Media would fill.
He said for the Private Security industry in Nigeria to grow, there must be need for civil oversight functions and these oversight functions can cascade to the issues of regulations, governance and most importantly the regulators must scale up in the area of use of data.
“That is the only way we can reform Private Security industry because the Private Security Industry in Nigeria is growing but growing in an unplanned manner. It’s like building house without a building plan” he added.
Nigerian Security Operatives such as Nigerian Police Force and NSCDC had their representatives present at the workshop.