Monday, 13 January 2014

Director General Advocates for the Establishment of Council for the Registration of Private Security of Nigeria (CORPSON)


Director General Advocates the Establishment of Council for the Registration of Private Security of Nigeria


The Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Security (NIS), Chief Osaro Ollorwi, has called for the establishment of the Council for the Registration of Private Security of Nigeria (CORPSON). According to the Director General, the body would be charged with the responsibility to set standards, establish and maintain the register of private security practitioners in the country. He stressed that CORPSON would be very useful in sensitizing the private security industry, eliminate quacks and charlatans that have infiltrated the industry as well as compel operators of private security outfits to become members of recognized professional security associations like NIS.

The security guru stated that absent of standards and control measures have exposed the security profession to public scorn and ridicule, adding that private security has become haven for dropouts and other questionable characters. He observed that the recent study carried out by the Nigerian Institute of Security revealed that over two million Nigerians are engaged in private security practices. According to him, 90 percent of these are poorly trained, ill-equipped, and poorly remunerated.

In an exclusive interview with the Editor of Safety Record Magazine, Nkereuwem Akpan, the Director General stated in his office in Port Harcourt that NIS was establish in 1996 to promote and campaign for improved status, wellbeing, and professionalism of persons engaged in or likely to be engaged in the theory and practice of industrial security and loss prevention.

Dr. Ollorwi decried rot in the educational sector, corruption in high places and poor funding of government security agencies that have become threats to our national security. The details of this interview are presented below. Happy reading….   

 Can you give us a brief history of your organization?


The Nigerian Institute of Security (NIS) was established in 1996 as a professional association committed exclusively to the advancement of the innovation, development, training and dissemination of best practices in security and loss prevention activities in Nigeria, with headquarters in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

 

Basically, what are the objectives of your organization?


The Nigerian Institute of Security recognizes that security is critical to achievement of uninterrupted and sustainable growth and development. It is our goal therefore to promote the application of integrated and participatory approaches to security management, practiced to the highest professional standards. Develop and promote approaches and good practices for comprehensive and integrated security management in Nigeria. Improve professional capacity in security management and public understanding of the field. Provide professional quality assurance by peer reviews and professional dialogue. Share information through professional networks, timely publications and professional trainings and meetings. The Institute also aim to contribute to policy formulation by providing useful insight and advisory services to government agencies and NGOs in all aspects of security and loss prevention.e and integrated security management in Nigeria.

Improve professional capacity in security management and public understanding of the field.

Provide professional quality assurance by peer reviews and professional dialogue.

Share information through professional networks, timely publications and professional trainings and meetings.

Contribute to policy formulation by providing useful insight and advisory services to government, development agencies and NGOs in all aspects of security and loss prevention.

 

That is, the Nigerian Institute of Security was established to promote and campaign for improved quality of life, wellbeing, and professionalism of persons engaged in or likely to be engaged in the practice of security and loss prevention. We attach much importance to the training of our members and conduct continual professional development and examinations with the aim of raising the status of our members. The institute also set entry criteria, establish standards, provide for the delivery and holding of lectures, exhibitions, public meetings, conferences, and examinations, and awards certificates, diplomas, prizes, scholarships either alone or jointly with other educational and professional bodies. NIS represents the professional interest of security and loss prevention practitioners, consultants, technologists and students as well as users of their products and services in both the public and private sectors.

 

How widespread is NIS in Nigeria?


Presently, there are viable branches of the NIS in Lagos, Kaduna, Bayelsa, Rivers, Oyo and Delta states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Arrangement is ongoing to officially inaugurate the Akwa Ibom State branch any time from now. The National Executive Council of the NIS have approved the establishment of branches in all states and major cities in Nigeria as a way of mobilizing the Nigerian populace to participate actively in security matters, boost the practice of security and loss prevention for the overall betterment of society.What is actually responsible for the growing importance of private security in Nigeria?

Many organizations in Nigeria are increasingly engaging the services of private security personnel because of their expanding activities and the need to protect their personnel, equipment, vital information, reputation and other assets that by their calculation are subject to considerable threats and risk and even loss through accident, negligence, or willful intent. Importantly, as businesses grow, they tended to employ modern methods of production that resulted in higher quality goods and services to the extent where competition among organizations in the same or similar line of business become imminent. This is because there is always the tendency for companies in the same line of business to attempt to learn of the rival processes affecting their own performance. With this, the competing organizations begin to explore ways to penetrate into the rival companies using various espionage techniques in an effort to see not only the design and production methods but also sales and customers lists, and biding information.

 

Again, in an attempt to meet the demand for increased production, the labour force must grow over time, perhaps from few members to hundreds or even thousands. With this, dishonest employees begin to surface, occasionally engaging in various activities such as pilfering and stealing company property such as stock, tools, spare parts, even finished goods and cash. Also there might be disguised employees who are agents for a competitor’s intelligence gathering agency or one who creates internal friction among workers with the aim of lowering their morale and cause disruption of production. This invariably calls for the growing importance of private security to check, control, mitigate and manage these unwarranted behaviours and activities in organizations. Private security also ensures that losses are prevented thereby enhancing business profitability. A good private security system, whether contractual or proprietary, must efficiently and effectively prevent losses arising from all forms of wastes, accidents, errors, and crimes (WAEC) and others in any organization; else its existence is questionable. The importance of profits to any business enterprise cannot be overemphasized. Companies need profits to be in business; to keep and maintain its assets; to grow and diversify; to discharge its social responsibilities to both the government and society, especially host communities. Private security ensures that “earned profits” are not depleted, consumed or lost to preventable waste, accident, error, and crime.

 

How relevant is Private Security to the overall development of Nigeria considering the various security apparatus of the government?

The mistake most of us do make is to assume that government security apparatus is enough to grant us absolute security. The primary goal of government all over the world is security and welfare of the people. This differently put is that people all over the world expect their government to protect their life and property and guarantee them minimum standards of living. But, this lofty goal is far from attainable anywhere in the world. This is because public security resources base is weak. Where they appear to be effective, the public security resources alone cannot guarantee a stable, safe and crime-free environment. The various government security apparatus, as you called them, such as the Nigeria Police, Customs, Immigration, Prison, and Fire Services, NSCDC, NAFDAC, NDLEA, etc. are under-staffed, ill-motivated in terms of life assurance policy, accident allowance, good accommodation and clean environment, lack of training and retraining to keep them abreast with the latest technical knowledge of the industry. The authorities are not committed to equipping them so that they will be in a better position to discharge their constitutional responsibilities. The public security system managers benefit from these loopholes.

 

The relevant of Private Security is rooted in its complimentary and cooperative role with the relevant government agencies in the protection of lives and properties. Training, specialization, orientation and administration are other factors that make the Private Security relevant in Nigeria. Its primary goal of improving business profits by preventing loss a relevant business service; and it provides professional services to commerce and industry. This is in contrast to public security in all aspects. For instance, public security resources are society-oriented whereas private security resources are essentially client-oriented.

 

However, both must work together for proper security and sustainable development of the country. As has been stated in answer to one of your questions, company assets are measure of its strength. A weak resources base affects company performance and the implementation of its objectives and policies. Security presupposes a stable and relatively conducive environment in which an individual or organization may pursue its ends without disruption or harm, and without fear of such disturbance or injury. Security is a delicate balancing act. There can never sustainable development in an environment of uncontrollable loss or damage arising from preventable waste, accident, error and crimes.

 

It will interest you to know that crime-related losses in the Nigerian business community are conservatively put at N30 billion annually. Vandalization of oil pipelines, oil theft and bunkering in the Niger Delta is said to cost the nation on the average N7.7 billion annually. The cost of terrorism, kidnapping and violence crime is jointly put at N23billion yearly. If the security system has been effectively and efficiently managed, these losses would not have occurred in the first place; and the society would have benefited immensely through improved governance and provision of quality social services.

 

The Private Security also has the necessary human and material resources to protect commerce and industry. They also have more information in their possession compared to the police. Private Security is more relevant because it departs from the tradition of the public security agencies that adopt curative and reactive approaches in handling and treating security matters to emphasis pursue and sustain its core value which is loss prevention.

 

Recently, NIS called for the review of the Private Security Guards Act 2004, could you please tell us the summary of the Act and the specific areas your organization feel should be urgently reviewed and why?


The Private Guards Companies Act of 15 December, 1986, otherwise known as CAP 367 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990 as reviewed in 2004 limit security to mere watching, guarding, patrolling and carrying of money for the purpose of providing security. This is one of its many shortcomings. Security is today a profession. It has grown beyond these primordial functions. “Guarding” is a minute function in security. Modern security is a science that requires a wholistic approach with sophisticated equipment, technology and skills. And modern security legislation must ensure that security provides the balancing sciences, the regulating arts and the applicable technologies necessary to achieve the goals of assets protection and loss prevention.

 

Secondly, the Act failed to differentiate between public security which is society-oriented and private security which is client-oriented. This fundamental deficiency is not only misleading but also confusing with severe consequences in the security industry if not corrected. Because of this lack of definition of what really constitute security, every Thom and Henry sees himself as security practitioner.

 

Thirdly, the Act is deficient in establishing requirements and procedures for licensing private detectives and investigators as is obtainable elsewhere.

 

Fourthly, from its name to its contents the Act is concerned with Private Guards Companies and not security practitioners. In other words, the Act set out to regulate Guards Companies not the security employees. It is like regulating the ownership of vehicles and not regulating the drivers, the conductors and the passengers. The results are infiltration of the security industry by quacks, rising crime waves, increasing loss figures, and environment drenched in fear.

Fifthly, the Act failed to make provision for a body to regulate, control, monitor, supervise, and discipline Private Security practitioners and service providers. The new legislation should as a matter of priority establish a body to be called, “Council for the Registration of Private Security of Nigeria”, (CORPSON), charged with the responsibility of determining who are Private Security practitioners (and auxiliary service providers); what standards of knowledge and skill they should attain; establish and maintain a register of private security practitioners; and control the practice of the profession in all its ramifications.

 

The council would also help in the much needed sanitization of the Private Security industry as well as eliminate quacks and charlatans that have infiltrated the industry, set practicing standards, professionalize operators in the industry by mandating all levels of operators in the industry to become members of recognized professional bodies. Membership of professional bodies like the Nigerian Institute of Security would ensure proper discipline and subject practitioners and their companies to adhere strictly to the ethics and code of conducts expected of practitioners in the industry.

                                                                                      

The new law should correct one of the major deficiencies of the Private Guards Companies Act by ensuring that each private security association in Nigeria is represented on the board of CORPSON as of right. Such representative must be an Executive Council member of the recognized security association among others.

 

In recent times, many Private Security outfits have emerged; do you consider this to be a healthy development for the country?   


The truth is that Nigerians fear of crime, and awareness that criminal justice resources alone cannot effectively control crime has led to a growing use of individual and corporate measures, including private security products and services. A study carried out by the NIS in 2012 revealed that private security has provided employment and means of livelihood to nearly three million Nigerians. Even though 90 percent of them are poorly trained, ill-equipped, poorly remunerated and work in slavery conditions, it is a healthy development socio-economically. But, when viewed from the professional perspective, it is unhealthy. Over the years, security matters in Nigeria has been inundated by lack of focus, lack of institutional framework, absolute absence of professionalism and serious misconception to the extent that the profession become haven for dropouts and criminal elements in society thereby further exposing the profession to public scorn and ridicule. The days of these quacks and charlatans in the honoured security profession are numbered. They either qualify within months now or be shown the way out as their continue practice is doing more harm than good to the country. Most of the security incidents resulting in loss of lives, vital information and valued properties are traceable to these quacks masquerading as either security consultants or guards.

 

Many companies are engaging the services of contract security instead of creating security departments as part of their organization, what is the implication of this for both the organization and security personnel?   


The issue of contract security versus proprietary security services is a complex one. Apart from being a matter of choice, each has its merits and demerits. In Nigeria, the growth of proprietary security services has parallel that of contractual security services. Exception of armoured delivery service, all other security functions can be undertaken as proprietary or in-house activities. Various factors usually determine the decision to hire proprietary or contract security personnel or guards to be specific. These factors include but not limited to the location to be guarded, the size of the guard force required, its mission, the length of time the guards will be needed, and the quality of personnel required.

The advantages of contractual security services include lower cost. Contract guards are less expensive than a proprietary unit. In terms of salary, in-house guards earn more because of the general wage rate of the company employing them. In many cases, that wage level has been established by collective bargaining. The fact that they receive fewer fringe benefits and their services can be provided more economically by large contract firms by virtue of savings in costs of hiring, training, and insurance policy because of volume constitute added advantage. These have the negative impacts of attracting the wrath of labour union, public criticisms and condemnations and can also lead to labour unrest and expensive consequential costs. 

 

Liability insurance, payroll taxes, uniform and equipment, and the time involved in training, sick leave and vacations are all extra cost factors that must be considered in establishing proprietary security force. Administratively, establishing in-house guards service requires the development and administration of a recruitment programme, personnel screening procedures, and training and deployment programmes. It will also involve the direct supervision of all security personnel. Hiring contract security solves the administrative problems of scheduling and substituting manpower when someone is sick or terminates his employment.

 

Besides, there is no doubt that the administrative chores are substantially reduced when a contract security service is employed. At the same time, the contracting customer is obliged to check the supplier’s performance of contracted services on an ongoing basis, and he must additionally insist on a satisfactory level of quality at all times. To this extent, management of the client firm is not totally relieved of administrative responsibilities.

 

Also, when the need for guards change arises, it is necessary to lay off existing guards or take on additional manpower. Such changes may rather come suddenly or unexpectedly. The in-house security department has this flexibility in manpower. If they have extra men available for emergency use, such men are an unnecessary expense when they are idle. On the other hand, if there is a temporary decrease in the need for guards, it would hardly be efficient to dismiss extra men only to rehire additional guards at a short time later when the situation changes again.

With their larger pools of manpower, contract firms can use their personnel with a high degree of efficiency and flexibility. By proper scheduling, they can provide extra men on very short notice.

 

Security services users are often in favour of non-union security personnel. They often supported their position by arguing that such security personnel are not likely to go on strike, they are less apt to sympathize or support striking employees, and they can be paid less because they receive few, if any fringe benefits. In Nigeria, 80 percent of all unionized security staff are proprietary personnel.

 

Again, it is often suggested that contract security personnel can more readily and effectively enforce regulations than proprietary security personnel. The rationale is that contract personnel are paid by a different employer, and  

Because of their relatively low seniority, have few opportunities to form close association with other employees of the client. This produces a more consistently impartial performance of duty.

 

Expertise is often another issue that makes many to tilt towards engaging the services of contract security services. When a client hires a security staff, he hires the management of that service to guide him in his overall security programme. These and others not mentioned here constitute why any business concern subscribing to the arguments listed here would clearly favour hiring contract security services.

 

A close look at proprietary security services points also to several advantages including better quality personnel. The higher pay and fringe benefits often offered by employers, as well as the higher status of proprietary security employees attract higher quality personnel. Such employees have been more carefully screened, and they show a lower rate of labour turnover. In the areas of control and management, managers have a much greater degree of control over personnel when they are directly on the company’s payroll. The presence of contract supervisor between guards and client’s management can interface with the rapid and accurate flow of information either up or down.

 

A proprietary security force can be trained to suit the needs of the company, and the progress and effectiveness of training can be observed in this context. The performance of each member of the force can also be more readily evaluated. Loyalty is equally guaranteed. Proprietary security personnel are known to develop keener sense of loyalty to the company they are protecting than their contract counterparts. The contract security personnel who may be shifted from one client to another, and who have a high turnover rate, simply do not have the opportunity to generate any sense of loyalty to specific, often temporary, client-employer.

 

A survey undertaken by the NIS in 15 states of the federation recently revealed that many managers prefer to have their own men on the job. They feel that the company gain prestige by building its own security force to its own specifications, rather than renting one to an outsider.

 

In weighing the various factors on either side of the debate, the prudent manager will carefully study the quality and performance of security companies available to service his facility, his expectations and the immediate environment. He will assure himself of the standards of personnel, training and supervision. He will make a careful analysis of the comparative costs for proprietary or contract security services, and he will make an estimate as to their relative effectiveness in his careful assessment. But, as a general advice, in situation where the demand for personnel fluctuates considerably, a contract security service is probably indicated. If a fairly-large and stable security force is required, a proprietary security service might be favoured.

 

Users of contract security services do so for reasons of economic or to avoid the administrative headaches of labour and personnel management problems. I am not against contract security but I frown at a situation where security personnel are paid a slave-like wages by the contract firm after collecting reasonable amount from the client-company. An example is where a contract firm collects N80,000 and N120,000 monthly for each security staff and supervisor respectively from the client employer, but ended up paying each security staff and supervisors N30,000 and N40,000 respectively. Is this fair and justifiable? Payments of peanuts as salary to staff have created more criminals in the workplace and in the society than we can imagine. Slave-like wages erodes staff self confidence, props up internal tension, generates frustration, builds up anger and finally results in violence crimes both at home and workplace. It constitutes security threat. Non-payment of salary as at when due also falls within this category. I believe that the labourer is worthy of his wages.

 

In recent times, NIS has tried to promote the training of security personnel in the country. Are you satisfied with the level of support from both the government and the private sector?


 The training of private security personnel at all levels is not something to be toyed with. This is the only means of making the profession popular, acceptable and attractive as well as brings about improvement in the performance, wellbeing and remuneration of personnel. The Nigerian Institute of Security has taken up the training of private security personnel at all levels as core responsibility. The support we are receiving from the government and corporate organizations is encouraging and an indication that Nigerians are beginning to know and value the importance of private security resources in the overall development of the country.

 

Specifically, what are the expectations and kind of supports NIS require from government and organizations?


Presently, the Institute lack modern office infrastructures, operational vehicles, information and communication facilities like modern computers, internet, fax machine and a befitting office accommodation. The office space donated to the Institute by the Rivers State Government need furniture and other office equipment to make it attractive and functional. Our library is begging for security books. Our planned forensic laboratory needs money to materialize. We cannot do all this without financial support yet we cannot go about with plates in hands begging for aids, but appeal to government, corporate bodies and philanthropic individuals to come to our aid.

 

Nigeria has been described as a country with very low security awareness. How true is this?


 It is very wrong to say that there is no security awareness in Nigeria or that the level of our security awareness is low. Why most people fell that there is no security awareness in the country is that we do not learn from our past mistakes. We do not see or hear things happening elsewhere and learn a lesson or two by propping into them. We do not assume our security to be our individual and collective responsibility. Rather, we see security as the duty of the police or other law enforcement agencies. Even, when we know of crime and criminals, we do not alert the police who need this information to function effectively. The unfriendly posture and attitude of the police towards information providers also constitute stumbling blocks that weaken citizens’ participation in solving crimes and social decay. Above all, illiteracy, hunger, poverty, frustration and other social vices also contribute to low security consciousness in the country. However, security challenges such as oil theft, kidnapping, terrorism and cultism, of recent, have helped drive security to the front banner in Nigeria.

 

As an expert, what would you give as common security threats in Nigeria as at today?


 For proper understanding of security threat, it is pertinent that we come to term with the difference between risk and threat. Risk is the probability that a threat agent (cause) we exploit an environment or asset vulnerability (weakness) and thereby create an effect detrimental to the environment or asset. On the other hand, a threat is a possible source of danger to an asset, an environment or nation as the case might be. A threat agent is a person or phenomenon that can make a threat manifest. These threat agents can be natural or human. Threats can also be accidental or deliberate. But, when we talk of national security we are concerned with those phenomenon or human agents that can create detrimental effects to the country that can disrupt the smooth running of the nation. With the exception of once in a while floods, Nigeria is free from most devastating natural disasters.

 

The emergence of such groups as neighbourhood cults, urban and political guerrilla forces, terrorists, militias, religion fundamentalists and organized criminal groups like oil theft syndicates, kidnapping cells, fraudsters in government and corruption constitute threat to the corporate existence of Nigeria. The trend is quite capable of spreading fast and reducing the country to a state of anarchy. We have sadly witnessed such trends before. Armed robbery, the mafia called “secret cult”, which has now extends beyond our institutions of higher learning to swallow the entire society, peddling of hard drugs, religious and political extremist bodies etc. all evolved as little cells and then developed into mighty oak trees because they were not promptly dealt with when they started to rear their ugly heads. Boko Haram was like child’s play when it started in 2009 in Maiduguri, Borno State. Today, it has grown into a monster that is threatening the corporate existence of the country. Three States, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa are under siege. The Niger Delta militants today constitute severe burden on the federal government. For instance, the amount of money spent on the amnesty programme alone is more than many states annual budgets. While the country’s civil servant monthly minimum wage is N18, 000; a militant is paid N75, 000 monthly for doing nothing. What a country! Yet, the Niger Delta region has remained underdeveloped! Perhaps, a study of how the Niger Delta militants were used to underdeveloped the Niger Delta Region should be called for here. A research into the role of the military and other security agencies in perpetuating these threats so as to remain relevant is necessary if we must move out of this circle of violence.   

 

We do not have to resort to the frequent use of the military to deal with these threats each time they emerge. We all appreciate that the military do not have the numbers, the orientation and the spread to cope with frequency at which these gangs emerge or the conflicts which they are used to promote occur. The federal government needs to upgrade the mobile police force into an operational militia force or create an official militia army, as it is in the United States of America to deal effectively with these urban guerrilla bands and make appropriate laws to deal with the authorities and individuals sponsoring them. It was my expectation that the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army which was created to respond to insurgency activities in northeastern Nigeria and based in Maiduguri, Borno State will be appropriately designated and mandated by legislation to deal with terrorism and urban guerrilla activities in the country. Unfortunately it turned out to be another division of the regular army. The Nigerian National Guards which was set up in 1989 by decree to combat crime and terrorism was abandoned after much time, efforts, and money have been sunk into it because its mission was said to overlap both the police and army and the fear that it could be used for political witch-hunting and intimidation. With the police is political witch-hunting and intimidation not very much with us? Why can’t we sum up the political will to address specific security challenges and leave unnecessary imaginary fears for once?

 

The level of commonly presumed crimes like theft, burglary, kidnapping, murder and assault had risen sharply over the years, indeed since the return to civilian polity. To deal with these, side by side the violent crimes, the strength of the Nigeria Police has been increased three folds over one decade and is still increasing rapidly. The police themselves as evident in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja, have chosen to deal with the emergent security threats by regular patrols, by congregating its personnel at traffic junctions and via Swift Operation Squad vehicular operation. They have also resorted to the rather unfortunate methods of deploying large numbers of their personnel to the so called “Big men” as guards. These methods have had limited successes and is unhealthy for what has reached a crisis situation in some parts of the country. What is needed now is the introduction of solid police methods and programmes to match the current threats and plans for the future.

 

Some of the silent threats to national security are the poor state of the national economy, near collapsed educational sector, expensive food prices and unemployment. These problems pose major threats not only to national security but also to our future generations and indeed the nation psyche. It is absolutely erroneous for us to continue to think that the oil revenue, which took over as the principal foreign earner and contributor to our economy since 1970 and served the twelve States sumptuously will in 2014 and beyond continue to serve our 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja well considering the speed with which the treasury is being looted. The need to diversify and expand the economic base of the country has become long overdue and there should be a comprehensive programme to match action with words. It will be another disservice to Nigeria if the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan failed to deemphasize Nigeria’s dependence on oil. The transformation programme should be directed at driving the nation’s economy from reliance on oil to an industrial and agricultural based economy. Wealth from oil and raw materials for the attainment of this height are abundant in the country. What is the problem then?

 

Another grave threat to national security is corruption. Nigeria is a corrupt nation. Corruption has virtually become endemic in this country. It has also eaten so deep into all fiber of the Nigeria society that nothing seems to be working rightly again. The craze for share of the national cake has forced many who have no access to steal legitimately into crime and criminality. If recent disclosures are anything to go by, it is clear that the amount of money stolen with writing implements is far higher than that stolen with guns. In all, Nigeria continues to sink and the masses wanton in poverty and misery.

 

Most countries of the world face external threats to their national security. So do Nigeria. These threats should be well appreciated, identified, assessed, analyzed and controlled. Although the extent of external threats which a country faces is usually increased or decreased by the foreign policies of the country concern; such threats could be categorized in terms of constant or regular threats based on the geography, topography, environment, etc. of the country. Volatile border situations, historical, colonial, religious proliferations, immigration and attractive mineral deposits are some of the factors that can determine the degree of external threats of a constant or regular nature a nation is exposed.

 

Some experts have averred that globalization is the extension of neo-colonialism; some claimed it is industrial cum economic enslavement of the developing world. This assertion points to globalization as external threat to underdeveloped world, including Nigeria.  This conclusion is inevitable while we remain underdeveloped and unable to compete with the industrialized world. But, the success of Japan, India, Malaysia, Taiwan, etc. should encourage us to believe that if we develop the correct focus and strategy, we could find a niche in the maze of glaring opportunities, which we can exploit to our advantage. By carefully worked out policies and strategies, we should be able to prevent our country from being the dumping ground for useless or morally polluted “industrial products”. We must not forget so soon the experience we suffered in the hands of Mr. Turner and his gang of saboteurs who tried to destroy our economy through economic sabotage that led to the massive investigation in the 1977/78 and resulted in the imprisonment and deportation of several expatriates for economic espionage and related offences. The activities of two Indian Vaswanis brothers which nearly crippled the Nigeria economy and the recent exposure of the existence of Hezbollah foreign terrorists’ cells and armory in the country are cases in point.

 

Modern technology, including spying satellites and advanced computers have exposed this country just like most other countries to extra terrestrial espionage and sabotage. In this respect, we have become victims of a global trend over which we have no defense or control and from which we derive little positive result due to our backward technological development. We must redirect and reorder our priorities and objectives to catch up with these modern trends.

 

Science also plays a major role in external threats to our national security. The threats of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction have remained and continue to remain potent. We can go on and on.

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