Private Security Guard Companies (PGCs) in Nigeria must help in combating terrorism in the country, the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro has ordered.
The Minister who spoke through the Director of Para-Military department of the Ministry of Interior, Amoga Keftin at a programme where operating licences were issued to PGCs at the Civil Defence Academy, Souka, Abuja.
Moro noted that the development in the political, religious and socio-economical sectors of the country demands more hands in tackling crimes in the country.
He warned that ventures into security business should be seen as a call to national duty and not a money making one.
The Minister of Interior also pointed out that gone were the days when PGCs paid their staff peanuts, stressing that their salaries should be on the same level as those working in the government sector.
" Security Guards should be paid a National minimum wage."
He noted that it was only when guards are paid good salaries that they would perform their jobs well, which he said is central to the government's security strategy.
Moro charged the PGCs to work towards professionalism in order to increase their bargaining powers.
Speaking earlier, the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSCDC), Dr. Ade Abolurin charged the companies to engage in continuous training of their staff for better output.
"Our relationship goes beyond licencing. We want to go into more training programmes with you."
He stressed that continuous training was necessary, "for you to key into National Security and also understand the latest security situations in the country and the solution the government is trying to put in place."
A retired Air force Officer, Chief Lawrence Anyaun whose security company,located in Lagos, got its licence at the occasion, said he was ready to contribute to improved internal security in the country.
"We need to secure people. We have to be around to find facts about them. I'm into this particular business so that I can assist in securing Nigerians."
He agreed that it was high time security guards get more pay, stressing that the companies only needed to get better deals from their clients to fulfil such responsibility.
In the same vein, Air commodore Mike Ufere (Rtd), President of Aprecell, a private Military company said his company is made up of retired military personnels who were ready to offer services to Nigerians despite being retired.
He also agreed that security guards in the country should enjoy better salaries.
Forty new PGCs were licenced at the occasion.