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NSCDC Licences 1,364 Private Guard Companies

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, says that the corps has licenced a total of 1,364 Private Guard Companies, PGCs, from 2003 till date.

NSCDC Assistant Commandant General (ACG) in charge of PGCs, Ferdinand Esiegwu, said this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

Esiegwu said that the licenced PGCs belonged to either Category A or B as Category A licence empowered the holder of such licence to employ 500 guards and above.

“Category B license holder can only employ less than 500 guards,” he said.

He said that the over 1,000 registered PGCs had recruited over 2 million private guards that had assisted in providing grassroots intelligence report and security in the country.

“The industry employs and is still employing large number of youths who ordinarily would have been idle and become potential threats to Nigeria’s security,” he said.

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He said that the guards had played essential roles in guarding facilities, premises, corporate organisations and patrol, monitoring of critical national assets and infrastructure.

“Simply put, PGCs are of positive impact to the security architecture of the nation,” he said.

The ACG said that from Jan. 2022 till date, the corps had also sealed and sanctioned 127 PGCs for various infractions.

He identified some of the offences as non-renewal of licence, non-compliance with Personal Identification Number registration, change of office addresses, change of office and uniform without informing the corps, among others.

He further said that the corps had not received any complaint of a PGC paying its staff below the national minimum wage.

“We have however, mediated in the areas of non-payment and delayed payment of salaries of guards and such issues were always resolved amicably for the benefit of all parties.

“Private Guard Companies are trying their best to comply with the guidelines for their operations.

“The Corps does not waste time in wielding the big stick wherever and whenever any infraction is perceived, observed or committed,” he said.

The PGC Head called for the involvement of private guards in elections security following the large number of recruited private guards.

“It is believed that in no distant time, Private Guard Companies will be engaged and deployed fully for election duties and recognised as such in their own rights.

“It is an idea whose time has come, not only because of the paucity of the regular security agents to cover all nooks and crannies of the country during elections.

“But because it is the right thing to do in this modern times when you look at other climes,” he said.

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