“Security is a support service for productive, extrative, commercial or other activities. It does not produce detergents, television sets or cars. But it must be present for these things to be produced.” With these words, the Chairman of Transworld Security services Limited (TSS), Dr. Ona Ekhomu, stressed the imperative of safety in investment initiatives in the country and even elsewhere.
According to Ekhomu: “For commercial activities to go in Nigeria, security must be in place. Investment in factories must be kept safe from armed robbers, fires and dishonest employees. Produced goods must be transported to distribution centres and on to sales outlets.”
The security expert, who spoke as a guest of honour at the monthly forum of commerce and industry correspondents in Lagos recently, stated further that private security personnel take charge of plant or factory security and public security agents such as the Nigerian Police Force take charge of everything outside the plant.
“Suffice it to say that security is a service which enables the delivery of goods and services throughout Nigeria and ensures that our way of life is maintained”, he emphasized.
Ekhomu, who is also the president of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON), also stated that security enables the economy to grow exponentially, to create a higher Gross National Product (GNP) for Nigerians.
He, however, regretted that despite the importance of security for industrial nay national development, Nigeria remains largely insured.
“Insecurity is robbing Nigeria of a prosperous and assured futured”, he stated. The expert continued:”Nigeria has peculiar elements of insecurity, which are knit into our national DNA. These include political violence, corruption, Niger-Delta insurgence, boiled frog sydrome, institutional weakness and illetracy.”
Ekhomu lamented that political violence is mortgaging Nigeria’s future by producing in some jurisdictions a leadership that is not visionary, accountable or responsible.
He noted that corrupt men and women still hold elected or appointed public office in the country and asked rhetorically: “where is the penalty for being a ba guy?”
The security expert also urged the Federal Government to decisively but wisely tackle the Niger-Delta crisis and stressed that “government must create a condition where economic development can germinate in the region.”
On the boiled frog syndrome, Ekhomu stated “Our tolerence as Nigerians for abuse, injustice, ineffeciency, ineffectiveness is simply too high. The boiled frog syndrome says if you put the frog in cold water and slowly increase the temprature, the frog will eventually cook becuase it didn’t know when the water got hot. In Nigerians, victims rights are not protected, restitutionis not paid to victims of crime. Unfair and unconstitutional laws are left unchallanged. No one wants to assert his rights; we fear victimization, yet we are all systematically victimized. Erring law officers are not prosecuted and so on and so forth. There is no way there can be security if will take all the abuses that come our way without complaint. I know many former government officials who swear that if they had been challenged while in office, they would have been better servant leaders. This lack of critical and assertive mindset helps insecurity to mushroom. The citizen must serve as a conscience to his ruler. We don’t want to go the way of the French Revolution of 1789.”
The Transworld boss also noted that most of the country’s institutions are weak. According to him, some educational institutions award more degrees than they impart knowledge, the criminal justice agencies are comatose, religions institutions are corrupt and lack focus.
“The judiciary is one eminent exception in this broad stoke of institutional failures,” he however stated.
He canvassed the need for literacy “so that we can all join hands in securing our nation.” Ekhomu emphasized: “Security is a vital condition for national development. Like former Lagos State Police Commissioner, Young Arebamen says, “without security, nothing works.” Public security and industrial security work in complementary terms to keep commerce and industry going.”