Wednesday 29 April 2015


How Security Lapses Led to the Collapse of NAFCON

At 100% production, the NAFCON’s expected daily revenue from its installed capacity of 1,500 metric tones of ammonia per day; 1,000 metric tones of urea per day; and 1,000 metric tones of NPK per day was 100,000 USD (about N14 million per day, conservatively). When the National Fertilizer Company of Nigeria (NAFCON) began production in July, 1987, it was producing between 110% - 115% installed capacity and was adjudged Nigeria’s most successful indigenous manufacturing company and the highest foreign exchange earner, after petroleum.


The market for NAFCON brand of blended NPK was very large, because of the recognition of its high quality and availability of multiple grades. By 1990, when NAFCON’s workers salary was one of the highest remuneration packages in Nigeria, the company’s total staff strength stood at 5,500 employees with 2,000 casual workers. By 1991, NAFCON was already a huge success and a monument of national honour and pride. From 1989 – 1992, the company received several international awards as best producers of urea products in the world. Its premium ammonia and urea far exceeded world standard. NAFCON was therefore declared self-reliant and self-sustaining.


Government conflicting policies also contributed immensely to the early demise of NAFCON. Supervision of the company by federal authorities looked unfocused as control of the company oscillated among federal ministries, especially after the completion of the Nigerianization process in 1991. From inception to 1995, NAFCON was under the control of the Federal Ministry of Industries.  Later in 1995, the supervision of NAFCON shifted to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, just because the company was producing fertilizers for farming, and remained there till 1997 when supervision of the company moved to the Presidency.


In 1998, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture once again took back the supervision of NAFCON until 2001 when the company shifted back to the Federal Ministry of Industries. For a successful company such as NAFCON, established with billions of the tax-payers’ money, the apparently unending shift of supervision looked unguided, unfocused, and uncertain.

At the peak of its glorious days in 1992, the Federal Government of Nigeria, under General Ibrahim B. Babangida, announced that NAFCON was among industries to be privatized, but never advanced any reason(s) for the planned action.

Shortly after the announcement, the Technical Committee on Privatization and Commercialization (TCPC) made many trips to Onne to inspect and valuate the company in readiness for privatization or outright sale.


Workers of the company became worried, not sure of their fate. Management had no explanation. In reaction, sabotage through over-invoicing of goods and inflated prices of spare parts, duplication of form “M” and Letters of Credit as well as splitting of contracts in favour of foreign companies, which did not service them, became the order of the day. Management who ought to have helped to put the situation under control began to get deeply involved in daily business in NAFCON, in order to make quick gains before the company became privatized.


Following this development, the fortunes of NAFCON nose-dived, leading to the first management/union confrontation in June,1992 at some stage, the union held management staff hostage for several hours in the company’s premises until agreement was reached on staff benefits. While the situation above waited for attention, the company was split into two, NAFCON 1 and NAFCON 11, on April 6, 1993.


This situation suddenly polarized the staff, further deepening uncertainties among the agitated workforce and heightening insecurity, increased widespread suspicion, acrimony and malice. Staff accused of disloyalty were unfairly treated and even retrenched. That laid the foundation for heightened union activities and demands, acts of sabotage, forgery, pilfering and hostage taking and eventual collapsed of the company. On the whole, NAFCON had four Managing Directors in four years; and was enveloped by a cloud of uncertainties.


Although from its inception till NAFCON stopped production, it produced a cumulative total of 6,600,000mt (six million, six hundred thousand metric tones) of granular fertilizer and 3, 500, 000mt (three million, five hundred thousand metric tones) of ammonia, NAFCON potential to produce explosives, fibre glass (for boats), glass-sheets, and plastics were untapped. In fact, NAFCON was the only company in Nigeria that could produce high grade explosives at the time of its operations. Management and workers in the urea plant were aware of the enormous untapped potential of the company, but chose to concentrate on fertilizers and depend on the revenue therefrom. 


             According to available statistics, Nigeria lost an average revenue of N336 million daily from the collapse of  NAFCON between  the time it was  shutdown  till it was  sold to O-secul Nigeria  limited  in August  2005. Its 5,500 employees and 2,000 causal workers lost their means of livelihood; over 350,000 households that NAFCON was providing livelihood by its downstream and upstream activities lost their sources of income. As Kharbanda and  Stallworthy put it, “company  failure affects not only those most  immediately  concerned,  those  employed by and trading with  the company but also industry  in general, the overall  economy and the well-being of the country in general, the overall economy and the  well-being of the country or countries  where the company operates”.


Collapse of NAFCON

The downturn in the fortunes of NAFCON began in 1995, when the company in the face of numerous odds, surpassed the production target of fertilizer required for the Federal Government to stop importation that year.  After the bumper production, the company could not undertake the necessary turnaround maintenance of the plant which was then overdue because proceeds from the sales of fertilizer did not come on time and when it did, it came in trickles.


The last installmental payment from the 1995 sales was received in the year 2000, five years after. The expected revenue from the 1995 sales was slashed in 1996 from N19 billion to N12 billion when government unilaterally fixed the prices of NAFCON fertilizer products below the operating cost. This resulted in the slow and steady decay of the plant and equipment as critical spares required to keep the plants minimally on stream could no longer be produced. 


On July 7, 1999 the failure of the Waste Heat Boiler Tubes in the Ammonia plant caused the entire facilities to be shutdown. Prior to the shutdown, the plants had operated below 50% capacity utilization caused by the erratic operations of the Water Treatment Units.


In all, three proposals for completing the revamp work were received from engineering firms and evaluated both by NAFCON and the Technical Board but no directives were received from the supervising Ministry of Industries.


The was low moral among the staff resulting from observed gross indiscipline of some members of the upper management of the company and the failure of the Ministry of Industries and the Technical Board to take disciplinary actions based on several investigations.

The Federal Government did set up a Commission of Inquiry followed by that of the Senate Committee on Industries, bit the impacts of these investigations were never felt, thereby compounding the moral problem among the staff. 


Security in NAFCON

Available documents indicate that before the commencement of construction of the company, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was conducted by the Ministry of Industries. There is nothing to show that SECURITY survey was ever carried out in the company whether before construction, during construction or when fully operational.


The head of security in NAFCON was a retired Captain of the Nigerian Army, who served as Security Manager and reported directly to the company’s Managing Director. He had no formal training in Industrial Security. The security department had about 50 policemen who worked under him in the department.


The 50-man security team was made up of policemen posted from the Rivers State Police Command in Port Harcourt to NAFCON to help maintain security in the company, and the Supernumerary Policemen (Spy Policemen), directly recruited by NAFCON, were trained for three months in public policing at the Police Training School at Nonwa in Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State, about 10 kilometers from the NAFCON plant. Again, they were not exposed to any training in industrial security. The head of the Spy police, called, “OC SPY” had the Security Manager as his direct boss and to whom he reported cases directly.


During this period NAFCON premises did not have a wall or perimeter fence. NAFCON had gates to the administrative block (the main office complex) and to the production area but there were no electronic detectors and no effective access control. In the production area, only workers in the area, contractors, suppliers, or visitors cleared from within could gain entry, but this was not very strict. The areas of NAFCON with some levels of access control were the ammonia, urea and NPK (blending) plants.


There were no closed circuit television (CCTV) installed in strategic locations in NAFCON for surveillance and monitoring of intruders. Retrenchment of staff was haphazardly done. Many workers were laid off without any reason or with flimsy excuses. Accusations were not investigated before sentencing the suspected culprits to punishment. At the same time, some persons recruited were not properly screened, especially those in the junior and casual staff categories. As a result, some staff earlier retrenched found their way back to the company and were reemployed. Such people, surely, did not come back with their whole heart to work for the progress of NAFCON, but on a reprisal mission to attack the company through stealing and sabotage.


NAFCON jetty, through which fertilizers were exported to international market, was not properly protected resulting in the conveyor-belt conveying fertilizer from the production plant for loading into a waiting ship berthed at the jetty slacking and some bags of fertilizer felling into the river. The river became polluted and killed fishes which were found floating the next day. The Onne and Okochiri communities who live by the river protested and were settled by the management of NAFCON.


This apart, NAFCON was a big polluter. Poisonous fumes from NAFCON plants were not released into the atmosphere, but piped underground to a nearby creek. As a routine, the pipeline was cleansed every month and the effluent released into the creek, resulting in the death of fishes and some other aquatic life. Because of pollution caused by NAFCON, the company witnessed several conflicts with its host communities – Onne (Eleme) and Okochiri (Okrika).


Fertilizer is a highly toxic/poisonous chemical. It is recommended the world over that people should not work in a fertilizer company for more than five years and should not work at the plant more than six months. It is also recommended that persons beyond the age of 45 should not work in a fertilizer company because of the toxicity of the environment.


But NAFCON management which adopted the policy ab initio apparently did not encourage the workers of the production department to observe this policy. Instead, they pampered them with sizeable allowances, beverages and milk. With this, the plant workers viewed themselves as special workers deserving special packages and were satisfied with that.


My investigations revealed that several plant workers died while NAFCON was still producing, but management would not give the minutest information as to the cause of their death, but only shoulder the cost of burial and give “maintenance packages” to the bereaved families. According to the National Network Newspaper (a Port Harcourt based tabloid) in September, 2005 “before the laid-off NAFCON staff were paid their entitlements, more than 500 members of NAFCON had died since the company stopped production as a result of their exposure to ammonia gas”.


Workers at the plants (production department) were at liberty to use facilities and materials meant for production the way they liked. It was therefore easy for them to manufacture mirrors, glass sheets, etc. to few interested buyers without management detection. These workers were also in charge of the urea plant where explosives could be produced.


As a safety precaution, workers in the bagging area were supposed to wear protective armours, but even when they were provided with the items, they preferred to sell it and make quick money and then exposed themselves to danger.


The technical audit carried out by M. W. Kellogg, the original builders of NAFCON between August, 1995 and May, 1999revealed the dilapidating state of the company. A company that was barely 8 years old was said to technically 15 years old. The Turn Around Project (TAP) which is the same as Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) were not genuinely executed. The plant engineers merely collected money, ordered few spare-parts and did not do any thorough job. Besides, the plant was over-flogged, having been made to produce at 110% - 115% above installed capacity. The report also added that the staff strength of NAFCON should not be more tha 800 people. But NAFCON had 5,500 workers.


NAFCON witnessed many management-employee conflicts which were often protracted. During lock-outs, hostage-taking and other forms of protest by the workers, management invited soldiers and mobile policemen with live ammunition to try to arrest the situation.


Misappropriation of funds was common at the slightest opportunity. Theft cases were never properly investigated. These prepared grounds for flagrant cases of sabotage against the company.


There were some dilapidated buildings in and around NAFCON that were not manned in any way by security personnel. They constituted hide-outs for criminals who from time to time went into the company to steal fertilizers and spare-parts from the warehouses and food from the catering stores.


Above all, there was massive waste in NAFCON. Top management and supervisors openly engaged in over-invoicing huge sums of money, obviously because of what they stood to gain in monetary terms. My investigations also revealed that huge heaps of raw materials that could have conveniently taken care of NAFCON’s production at least for several months were left lying waste at various points in the production department. In the same vein, equipment ordered for millions of dollars were left to waste at the Oil and Gas Free Zone, Onne.


In 2003, the Management of NAFCON at the time discovered a cartel in the company that specialized in duplicating Form “M” and Letters of Credit as well as splitting of contracts in favour of foreign companies which did not service them. Forty-four such Letters of Credit were detected and out of these, one of the foreign companies had 20 Letters of Credit. Precisely, on 28th October, 2003, the management of NAFCON wrote a letter reference MMD/FP/ABJ/C10/2003-003 to the Central Bank of Nigeria, requesting the cancellation of Letters of Credit fraudulently issued to some foreign companies which did not service them, an economic crime against the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Letter of Credit amounted to USD 1, 235, 855.70 (One million, two hundred and thirty-five thousand, eight hundred and fifty-five dollars seventy cents).


From the foregoing, we can briefly deduce the following security blunders as being the core cause of the collapse of NAFCON:

1.      NAFCON was a case of total neglect of security.

2.      The company was established and commenced operations without security survey.

3.       Its security department was manned by commercial policemen, headed by a retired army captain, none professionally qualified and none had formal training as security practitioner.

4.      There was total absence of relationship between covert and overt security.

5.       Security principles were violated ignorantly.

6.      Security programme/designs were never given attention.

7.      Management attitude towards security was indifferent thus enforcement of security rules suffered. 

8.      Management was exemplary only in fraudulent acts and wastes paving the way for vandalism, terrorism, theft, embezzlement and eventual collapse of NAFCON.


It has been estimated that Nigeria loses almost N166 billion annually (excluding human lives, sufferings, and pains that cannot be quantified appropriately in monetary terms) to vandals, fraudsters, and other categories of criminals. A breakdown of this figure reveals volumes. According to the NNPC, the annual lose inflicted on the corporation by oil theft, vandalism and repairs arising therefrom is put at N150 billion. The Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) also reported huge annual lose of over N10.9 billion to criminal activities. While the annual lose suffered by other industrial and commercial concerns is said to be over N5.5 billion.


This is not only threatening the sustainability of the socio-economic development of the country, but also posing great threat to national security, business operations and individual welfare. It also discourages labour, investments and genuine investors. The menace cut across both the public and private sectors. Organizations such as NNPC, PHCN, SPDC, NAOC, to mention but a few, have several tales to tell about what criminals have done to their facilities and activities.    

The basic aim of security in business is to contribute to business profits, reduce or eliminate preventable crime and losses; evolve and maintain an environment of peace and tranquility; and boost staff moral and public confidence. This, security does by providing effective protection services; interfacing between the organization and its publics; creating and maintaining a peaceful and serene environment devoid of crime or fear of crime, which enables the business to survive, be in service, generate incomes,  and meet its obligations to the various publics.  

A security programme for any business undertaking must define its underlying motivations for effective security and this must incorporate the following:

1.      Desire for reduce losses;

2.      Desire to create employee’s awareness of the consequences of violation of policies;

3.      Desire to inform employees of their responsibilities for assets protection;

4.      Desire to involve employees in loss prevention actively;

5.      Desire to modify values, behaviour, or attitude while on the job;

6.      Desire to provide job enhancement; and

7.      Desire to sustain serene environment with the company publics.

In other words, a business security programme must as of necessity provide realistic answer to the following basic questions:

a.       How can the security function enhance profitability?

b.      What must be done to protect the main interests of the facility or company?

c.       What programmes are essential to provide required protection?

d.      How much staff is needed to carry out required tasks?

e.       How much money is needed to fund required programme?

All security programmes must be based on a hierarchy of needs, which addresses corporate, facility, personnel and environmental issues. It must identify and place a series of barriers between what the company wants protected and what the company wants protected from. That is what I called total solution for a total problem.

 NAFCON management was badly informed of the fact that there is no security without some methods of establishing accountability. For many numbers of reasons some people will steal and a few items missing each day could amount to a staggering sum. Hence it is an economy necessity to prevent losses no matter how small they appeared at first. All loss problems start small, and if they are not controlled or prevented at the infancy stage, they grow and become serious problems, which may threaten the efficiency, effectiveness and the very survival of the organization.

NAFCON therefore, is case of losses that start small and eventually grown to become the cancer that killed the company. Those who neglect security always pay dearly for.


Thursday 9 April 2015


Netanyahu’s Alarm Is Good for Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned the United States of America against agreeing to a nuclear deal with Iran and working with a country deeply rooted in militant Islam. He observed that Tehran “will always be an enemy of America”, stressing that “If the deal now being negotiated is accepted by Iran, that deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, lots of them”.

Netanyahu emphasized that Iran’s regime is “as radical as ever”, and therefore, “could not be trusted and the deal being worked out with the US would not block Iran’s way to a bomb but paves its way to a bomb”.

He appealed for s united front against terrorism and Iran’s attempt to acquire nuclear power. In his words, “We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror”.

This is not the first time Netanyahu is raising alarm over Iran’s nuclear weapons capability. In 1996 he spoke of catastrophic consequences if Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons, not only for the Middle East but for all mankind. He has severally made frivolous claims about nuclear weapons programmes in both Iran and Iraq, inventing imaginary timelines for their development and making misleading public statements.

This alarm is not only frustrating Iran’s effort to develop as a nation, ride itself of the picture of State terror sponsor, but also paint Iran as threat to peace and security in the Middle East and North Africa as well as enemy of the West.

Perhaps, many have forgotten that since 1970 Iran has been a non-nuclear weapon state party to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPI), and has an advanced nuclear programme that it declares to be peaceful in nature.

But the odds against Iran are numerous which make Netanyahu’s warning worthy of consideration. Several factors are at stake when we consider the current deal being negotiated by the US.

1.      Iran’s nuclear programme is cloaked in a shroud of secrecy. America cannot claim to have real-time intelligence information about Iran’s nuclear programmes.

2.      Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism is an issue. Is the carrot being advanced by the US capable of making Iran denounce terrorism? What will become of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihadists?

3.      Human rights abuses; and

4.      Iran’s non-recognition of Israel’s right to exist.

All which has combined to hinder the Middle East Peace Process by arming militants including Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihadists, and its continuous disruptive role in sustaining violence in the Middle East, especially Syria.

Perhaps, it is a welcome development that the Iraqi insurgency has brought Washington and Tehran together. But, Obama endorsement of this marriage from hell is rather too fast and irrational. Obama anchor his stance on “Iran can play a constructive role”. Iran and US may cooperate for convenience, but beyond subduing common enemies, their goals and aspirations are not the same. We are watching to see if Iran can really become a strong US ally in the fight against terrorism despite its official sponsorship of Hezbollah.

We also want to see how the cooperation over Iraq can solve the problems of jihadists from Europe who cross Iran to join the fight against US and NATO troops in Pakistan.

Besides, diplomats from both the West and Iran have maintained the following:

a.        That they are nowhere close on a deal to halt Tehran’s nuclear programme;

b.      That sanctions are not going away anytime soon; and

c.       That relationship between Washington and Tehran is far from cordial.

Who then is fooling who? America is approaching a hypercritical problem with a mind fixed on the enemy of my enemy is my friend. This stance portends grave consequences for peace and security in the Middle East and North Africa as violence and terror expand.

In championing the fight against terrorism America’s choice of enemies and friends have been very controversial and questionable. The case of Nigeria, my country, comes to mind here. Nigeria, though not colonized by America has been America close friend and ally. Unfortunately, during the 30 months Nigerian-Biafra Civil War (1967 – 1970) and the ongoing war against the terror group, Boko Haram, the US denied Nigeria arms to defend our sovereignty; protect our citizens’ lives and properties; secure our freedom; and guard our human rights and democracy. In other words, twice Nigeria was in great danger, twice America abandoned her to her fate and twice Nigeria turned to Russia to get help. In all, Nigeria has remained a faithful friend and ally of America.

But for decades now, the same America has been providing Iranians with tools and training necessary to advocate for their interests, protect citizens’ rights, and to communicate securely and freely with each other and the outside world.

When you compare the two scenarios above you will find where Netanyahu’s fears are placed, and also why he will continually raise the alarm for a long time to come, at least, to tell the world that he is suspicious of US romance with Iran or any other known enemy of Israel.

Secondly, that he doesn’t trust the US dealings with Iran vis-à-vis its nuclear programme.

Thirdly, though, Iran is said to be far from making nuclear weapons, the alarm aims to prevent the US from embarking on activities and relationship that will sooner or later consume Israel or further jeopardize peace and security in the Middle East. There is no idle romance!

The dilemma of US now is whether to reinvade Iraq or equip Iran properly to contain Iraq, particularly the activities of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Double standard is weapon of deception whether on the economic level or political level. The US is still employing the instrument of cruel deception it invented during the Cold War in rather larger scale. Netanyahu is an insider, therefore should not be blamed for raising empty alarm. A study of the Cold War revealed the “State of mind that encourages international deception and the mind of the State that perpetuate it”. Big brother favours fraud instead of force to manipulate, dominate, and control the world.

After winning the Cold War, US now leads the race in converting enemies into friends and turning friends into enemies without blinking an eye. Netanyahu is not ignorant of America’s propensity to betraying allies, especially in supporting and later attacking them, hence the continual alarm.

Netanyahu’s alarm is for the good of Israel and for peace in the Middle East and North Africa. Keep warning the US; keep sounding the alarm; keep shouting. After all, to be forewarned is to be forearmed.            

When An Executive President is Stripped of Security Powers


The primary purpose of government is security and welfare of the people. The formation of democratic government world over entails citizens’ participation in the electoral processes. These processes though defined, the race to winning election brings up several challenges and problems especially, how to meet law enforcement responsibility of establishing and maintaining a peaceful and orderly environment that ensures the protection of life and property vis-à-vis government’s obligation and responsibility of managing law enforcement agencies in a way that achieves this objective through prevention, deterrence and prosecution of criminal activity.

Events, situations, and happenstance that culminated in the ouster of the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s led PDP government are eye-opener to many Nigerians. Through well crafted deflationary propaganda, intimidation, and manipulation the opposition erased the President’s rights and freedom to “give lawful directions…with respect to the maintenance and security of public safety and public order in the country….” Stories were cooked-up, events were manipulated, systems were crippled, characters were assassinated, situations were abused, and fears were injected into the whole processes in a show of supremacy to wrestle power from the minority who happened to become President by divine providence. 

Several odds were invited against GEJ. His minority status and interpersonal relations were played to the fore as almost all the retired wealthy generals and political cum religious bigots from the majority ethnic groups conspired to abandoned him for one of their own. The judiciary was turned against him while he was being applauded and clapped to. Truly, his lack of security background; absence of “manly liver”, coupled with a wife that creates enemies easily made him vulnerable to every attacks from the opposition. Besides, he was afflicted with chronic sycophancy and surrounded by traitors who betrayed him with smiles. The soldiers who were expected to protect him infected him with acute fear while his numerous foreign diplomat friends advised him to “save his neck” wisely. These odds combined to make President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s last days in Aso Rock very dull and clueless; and gradually he drifted into an executive President without security powers.

Careful observers attest to the fact that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was seriously caged, threatened and forced into conceding defeat long before the final results were announced by Professor Attahiru Jega. The security implications of these actions and reactions are worth careful study and analysis. The beauty of democracy is a government faced by a strong opposition.


Basic Security Awareness for Crime Prevention

Being text of Paper Presented by Chief Ollorwi Osaro at a One Day Security Sensitization Seminar for Community Trust Chairmen and Surveillance Supervisors organized by SPDC/GMOU Eleme Cluster Development Board on Monday 2nd March, 2015


This paper sets out to introduce the participants to the security landscape, roles of security in business and society, and inculcate in them basic crime/loss prevention attitudes and improve their capacity to anticipate, respond to and manage simple security activities in their areas of responsibility. It is expected that the attendees will come away with proven techniques and the judgment needed to gauge the vulnerabilities of the facilities they protect in any situation.

What Is Security Awareness?

Security awareness refers to the knowledge and attitude an individual possesses regarding the protection of both tangible and intangible assets. It means the level, quality of impact of security knowledge subsisting in an individual and his attitudinal change resulting therefrom at any point in time. This level of quality of security consciousness created by security awareness as a state of mind in the eyes of the beholder is directly related to the reality of the security programme he has been exposed to.

Being security aware entails that you understand that there is the potential for some people to deliberately or accidentally steal, damage, misuse or sabotage corporate assets. But, it is your responsibility to try within the law to stop them. Security awareness equips us to be security conscious and puts us on our guard always.

The awareness of risks and available safeguards is the first line of defense for the assets.  The focus of security awareness is a shift in the attitude of the individual towards security and the promotion of cultural and behavioural changes security-wise. In this context, a potential law breaker (where security awareness is present and communicated) will be wary and watchful before attempting to commit a crime or provoke loss. Secondly, the potential offender having perceive or believe that security awareness is in place will think twice before committing any crime for fear of being caught, prosecuted and jailed.

Crime Triangle

 The crime triangle defines those factors that must be present for any crime commission. These are Desire, Motive and Opportunity.

                                                        Crime Triangle



                                                             Desire                        Motive




For instance, for a loss to occur there must be:

1.      Opportunity to take

2.      Opportunity to remove

3.      The goods

4.      A perpetrator

You can combat 1 and 2 above by deleting opportunity and controlling exists.

The crime triangle as explained will remind us always that the important role security awareness plays as a strategy against crime and loss is to institute the 3Ds of Crime Prevention namely: Deter, Delay, and Deny Opportunity. In crime prevention, your ability to deter, delay and deny opportunity helps you be in firm control of the situation which the criminal need to make his desire and motive materialize.

It is common knowledge that most of us do a lot of things either out of ignorance, carelessness, or negligence, if you like, which give us away to the criminal. We tend to forget that the criminal is always planning and strategizing ahead of us in most cases.


Therefore, it is important that measures that will make the 3Ds part of our daily routines are in place. When leaving your house to your duty post, while at your beat, or returning home, build security into whatever you think, say, or do. The ultimate goals of any security programme rests on the issue of awareness of the security efforts in existence. Ask yourself, “Why security is always identified with a colour or emblem?” The answer is VISIBILITY.  What does visibility create? It creates awareness and awareness creates a state of mind based on a reality – a viable reality.

Give Security a Reality

Most individuals or organizations fail to buttress or validate the credibility of security efforts. The security effort is validated when security success is amplified and properly communicated. When judged by what did not happen, security programme becomes credible. Crime prevention is the bottom-line of any security effort. And security efforts are implemented primarily to prevent unwanted and undesirable incidence or crime. This can only be accomplished by prevention through deterrence (PTD) based on security awareness.


Security awareness is created by large measure of PRESENCE, real presence. The “real” attached to presence stands for quality. Quality has to do with prime functionality, the security officer or surveillance guard doing his job the way it should be done, the supervisor monitoring and inspecting his security programme and the manager scanning the environment, reviewing and upgrading the security measures from time to time in keeping with changing realities/environment.

Measuring Quality

Quality in our case should be measured by three discernible factors notably:

a.       Care and effort in the selection process of methodology and personnel,

b.      Care and effort in preparing such personnel for their work, and

c.       Care and effort in managing daily performance of officers and function.

If you have quality people, train them well, and they are conscious in their quality equipment and functions, then you probably have a programme on which to build “security awareness”.

Total Security Awareness

Our approach to security awareness must be total. Security awareness must be taken beyond you; it must be contagious, otherwise the little lapse that exists may render all efforts useless. Security awareness should not be limited to you and your colleagues. It affects everybody that chances to come unto your area of responsibility and even your individual property. Though the presence of security officers, security routines or procedures and “SEEN” efficiency of security officers is sufficient security consciousness to the passersby, the facility security officer is another case entirely. The security officer may be so accustomed to these routines, procedures, and presence that he routinely fails to “SEE” the obvious. We should know that in most cases, crimes do occur and succeed because the employees fail to maximize the security opportunity at their disposal. They may by so doing bring themselves, their supervisors and managers, and employer into disrepute or outright danger.

Security Ownership

Building and sustaining the culture of security ownership is an important aspect in any security programme’s success. Security ownership is a significant part of security success in any environment. The culture of security ownership can be achieved and maintained through:

a.       Real Ownership.    Every stakeholder must own an interest in security.

b.      Communication. The “owners” must be on the same page and in the “know” concerning security situation at each point in time.

c.       Collaboration. The security programme should be structured to ensure smaller work units and greater accountability, promoting a team-like environment.

Always Anticipate Trouble

The best way you can protect yourself and the facility is to anticipate trouble and take steps to avoid it. Target hardening entails building up defensive screens to make both yourself and the assets under your safeguard less vulnerable.

Create and Sustain Security Awareness

Creating and sustaining security awareness requires:

Ø  regular security education,

Ø  background check on applicants,

Ø  induction courses,

Ø  signs and posters,

Ø  salary alert messages and incorporation of bonus money as number of incidents in an area decreases,

Ø  communicating security through policies,

Ø  perpetuating security awareness in the communities,

Ø  recognizing employees/citizens involvement in security,

Ø  establishing reward/award programmes,

Ø  regular environmental scanning, and

Ø  analysis of Threat – Reference – Adversary (TRA), which enables you to analyze all possible threats and adversaries so that credible threats and adversaries can be identified and this information used as a basis for planning, implementing and reviewing security measures.

Generally, TRA aims to educate, identify and clarify present and perceived threats and adversaries lay groundwork for protection. The examples of these TRA include:


Pipeline Vandalism
Ethnic Militias, Terrorist, and Other Extremist Protesters
Armed Attack
Terrorist, Ethnic Militias, Other Extremist Protesters, Disoriented Persons
Hostage Taking
Terrorist, Ethnic Militias, Other Extremist Protesters, Disoriented Persons, Miscellaneous Criminal Groups, Disgruntled persons, etc.
Terrorist, Ethnic Militias, Other Extremist Protesters, Disoriented Persons, Miscellaneous Criminal Groups, Organized Sophisticated Criminal Groups.
Armed Robbery
Terrorist, Disoriented Persons and Miscellaneous Criminal Groups.
Political/Ritual Killing
 Disoriented Persons, Organized Sophisticated Criminal Groups, and Miscellaneous Criminal Groups
Disoriented Persons, Organized Sophisticated Criminal Groups, and Miscellaneous Criminal Groups
Advance Fee Fraud
Organized Sophisticated Criminal Groups and Miscellaneous Criminal Groups

There is always overlap among adversary groups and this fact must be kept in mind by all at all times.

Role of Security in Business

The basic aim of security is to contribute to business profits by reducing or eliminating preventable losses resulting from all aspects of waste, accident, error, and crime (WAEC). Since the primary goals of any organization is to be in service and to generate income, and that it accomplishes these goals by providing effective customers’ service security must contribute by reducing and if possible eliminate losses caused by internal and external factors.

Security Basic Mind Set

The security programme must be effective by identifying potential and perceives threats to the assets under safeguard, the potential adversaries and vulnerabilities, and design appropriate safeguard measures. This you can do effectively by understanding that:

1.      Crime simply cannot exist in an atmosphere of caution and security knowledge.

2.      Criminals will just go to another target when confronted by obstacles to their plans.

3.      Any person can be a criminal; hence everyone is a potential criminal provided the figure, place, and circumstances (Desire, Motive, and Opportunity) are right and favourable.

4.      “Street” criminals commit crimes in order to survive, and often three categories as opportunity present themselves. These are:

a.       Crimes committed by fear, force, and violence.

b.      Crimes committed by device, document, and technology.

c.       Crimes committed by trick or deceit.

5.      Professional criminals commit crimes to support a lifestyle, and often limit themselves to one of the three categories mentioned above.

6.      If a determined criminal really wants to commit a crime, he will find a way to do so, regardless of any policies, procedures, laws, or regulations in place. That is where security must reduce or eliminate the opportunity for a crime to be committed by putting in place appropriate security measures from time to time.

Threats of Concern

Threat refers to a person, thing, or circumstance likely to cause damage, danger, or harm. It is any thing that has the potential to exploit a vulnerability or security failure to breach security and thus cause harm. A threat can be intentional or accidental. In Nigeria, the oil pipelines are vulnerable to several threats with diverse adversaries. These threats which are of concern to us include: Oil Theft, Armed Attack, Civil Unrest, Hostage Incident, Kidnapping, Sabotage, Pipeline Vandalization, etc.

Causes of Oil Pipeline Sabotage and Vandalization

These threats which are perpetuated by such adversaries as oil import contractors, smuggling mafia, and illegal oil bunkerers who constitute themselves into Organized Sophisticated Criminal Groups; including miscellaneous criminal groups, disgruntled persons, disoriented persons, extremist protest groups, and terrorist groups are of great concern to the society at large and security practitioners in particular.

In Eleme, the most likely threat groups are the organized sophisticated criminal groups who reside in and around the pipelines that conspire with outsiders to constitute regular threat to the oil products pipelines. The use of hacksaws and blades to cut the pipes and siphoning of oil from pipelines and other infrastructure has remained a major threat. The root cause of pipeline vandalization is its vulnerability which is attributed to the long distance and remoteness of the pipeline.

The second and equally important cause is the exposure of the pipelines on ground surface which also make it vulnerable to attacks.

Other causes which are beyond the scope of this paper include hate, grievances, unemployment, poor social responsibility, poverty, availability of small and light weapons, quest for materialism, etc.

Prohibition of Oil Pipeline Sabotage

In Nigeria oil pipeline sabotage is prohibited in Section 1 of the Petroleum Production and Distribution (Anti-Sabotage) Act No. 353 of 1990. The Act defines a saboteur as any person who does aids another person, or incites, counsels or procures any other person to do anything with intent to obstruct or prevent the production or distribution of petroleum products in any part of Nigeria or willfully does anything with the intent to obstruct or prevent the procurement of petroleum products for distribution in respect of any vehicle or any public highway with intent to obstruct or prevent the use of that vehicle or that public highway for the distribution of  petroleum products.

Accomplice is Guilty of Economic Sabotage

The Act defines Sabotage as “The illegal or unauthorized act of destroying or puncturing of oil pipelines so as to disrupt supply or to siphon crude oil or its refined products for sale on the black-market, or any other outlet. It includes such acts as oil bunkering, pipeline vandalization, fuel scooping, and oil terrorism”. In this sense, any person or group of persons involved in such an act is considered to be guilty of economic sabotage.

What this portends is that any act by you to aid and abet a vandal will render you guilty of economic sabotage; and you know what that means. You will not only loose your job, but face prosecution and imprisonment. This aims to create the necessary awareness.

Sabotage is a Premeditated Crime

Sabotage is an intentional disruption of the operation of an organization, very often involving destruction of property. Sabotage is an intentional act, or failure to act, and is meant to damage the property, personnel, moral, or general efficiency of an organization. It can be perpetuated in several ways and often very difficult to find the specific offender, but could be prevented through a well-crafted and strongly implemented security programme that effectively addresses all the basic security issues earlier mentioned.

Know What Crime May Impact Clients

Private Security Officers/Surveillance guards are not law enforcement agents, nor are you expected to act as police officers to practice effective crime prevention tactics. You must attempt at all times to know what crimes may impact the client, who is likely to commit them, how they are likely to occur, and when they are likely to occur and then act proactively. A surveillance guard should use detective techniques by:

a.       Gathering facts by observation and interview;

b.      Assessing those facts and determine their relative values’

c.       Drawing conclusions and planning a course of action; and

d.      Acting upon the course of action or making recommendations for others to follow.

Relevant Tips

v  You should also encourage other community members to be vigilant and report any threat to security around the facility to you.

v  Take note of strangers or loiters and suspicious incidents around the facility.

v  Avoid loose talk about assets under your protection.

v  Do not challenge an armed unrecognized visitor or non-pass wearing person (s).

v  Ensure that SPDC personnel and vendors have proper identification and work permit to access the facility.

v  Ensure access to sensitive areas is limited.

v  Always make sure there is a clear view from your position.

v  Unusual telephone calls, particularly those in which the caller does not identify himself or those in which it appears that the caller may be misrepresenting himself should not be answered, especially if you are in the line.


Although the private security personnel perform functions similar to the public law enforcement officers, he has no formal authority than an average citizen. Take note that you as private security personnel are acting only on behalf of the person, business or organization that hires you.