The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Akwa Ibom Command, has sealed 16 illegal private guard companies in the state and arrested 30 of the guards in the last one month.
The State Commandant of the corps, Mr Samuel Fadeyi, made the disclosure in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo on Wednesday.
Fadeyi said that the command, during the period, swooped on some private guard companies and discovered that some of them had yet to register with the agency as stipulated by law.
“In the last one month we have been tough on unlicensed private guard companies in Akwa Ibom.
“We swooped on different corporate organisations being guarded by unlicensed guards, making several arrests and sealing the companies.
“We arrested 30 guards from different beats working for 16 different illegal private guard companies and the companies were sealed.
“The regulation, training and licensing of private guard companies is a core mandate of the corps under the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Act, 2003 (as amended).
“We are the statutory agency superintending over the compliance with the Private Guard Act, 2004.
“These companies form a tier of the security architecture of the nation and the sector cannot be left in the hands of quacks, moreso considering the security situation in the country.
“These arrests are just the beginning and nobody, regardless of status, is above the law,” Fadeyi said.
He reiterated that the command was open to enquiries on registration and information regarding licensing of companies in the state.
Fadeyi highlighted the dangers in employing quacks, including the negative image of corporate entities whenever the agency swooped on them for arrests.
According to him, their actions may be seen as promoting the operations of the quacks which is detrimental to the laws of the land.
The state commandant urged individuals and organisations seeking services of private guards to patronise licensed ones.
“We will allow the registered private guard companies to work. Those people that are licensed should work very well so that they will know that the agency is protecting them,” he said.
He warned operators of the companies that had not formalised their registration to do so immediately.
Fadeyi stressed that the command would continue to clamp down on all unregistered private guards companies in the state.
He warned vandals to stay clear all government and public infrastructure in the state as the command would deal decisively with anyone caught vandalising them.