Chair: Professor Martin Gill

Panellists:
Edward Orim – Chairman at ASIS International Abuja Chapter
Dr. Adesola Osidipe – Executive Director at YSY Ltd
Engr. Emmanuel Uwalaka – Regional Administrator OSHAssociation UK – Nigeria

Key points:

Dr. Adesola Osidipe notes that Nigerian society faces serious challenges – ones that threaten democratic society, and it needs strong leadership to bring about change. The security sector is a part of society and some of the issues that pose a challenge extend beyond the sector itself, the lack of social cohesion, the failure to understand enough about society, for example there is no meaningful census to collect and collate data. Crucially though there is no security architecture and no security plan and therefore there is a lack of structure to facilitate meaningful change. You will hear Adesola talk about border control and the lack of government direction which has resulted, for example, in the flow of arms into the country. Change should ideally start at the very top, with the President, taking a bullish approach, and doing so by focussing on high crime – some robberies result in lost lives – as that will have the best chance of engaging the masses.

Edward Orim notes the role played by different parties in providing security, including religious leaders. You will hear Edward outline the range of challenges that society faces, including and relating to: terrorism, Covid, piracy, militancy, kidnap, clashes of groups to name but some. The key is to improve the synergy between policing groups of which private security is a part. The development of the private security sector needs to be guided by legislation, to focus on training, to recognise the importance of security equipment in improving effectiveness, and to facilitating the exchange of credible intelligence. Getting the right people is crucial, but all this takes political will and that has been wanting. Pay is low and poverty is rife, and that breeds corruption and rebellion, security alas is part of society and herein rests a challenge and an opportunity.

Emmanuel Uwalaka notes that managing security is not rocket science, not least when there is recognition of the need and value of security, in some quarters at least. There are enough people, they need to be properly engaged, but equipment is lacking and here he points to cases where what does exist falls short of basic requirements, including public space CCTV. The general context is a lack of trust of security, citizens need to be reengaged and this takes both political will and a strategic approach that has meaning and is driven. Yet there are some good examples to point to and these should be the focal point, he argues the need to build on these. It will need a focus on priorities, and good practice starts at the top.

At the end of the webinar the panel were asked for what they viewed as the key strategic priorities. You will hear some interesting answers, about the need to better prepare people, to better equip them and to guide the development through strategy that seeks to harmonise the collective efforts of different agencies, that is fundamental. It is a challenge in many countries, Nigeria too.

The winners of the 2022 Nigeria OSPAs were revealed at the end of this session, you can see the full announcement here.