Security experts rose from a two-day international conference at the Exhibition Hall of Eko EXPO Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos with a call on the government to tackle unemployment among the youth as a way of curbing crime and terrorism in the country. The security conference was organised by the IFSEC, West Africa. It was held on March 6 and 7, 2012 with the theme: “Focusing on the Nigeria homeland security and improving critical national infrastructure to tackle the rising wave of terrorism and other violent crime in the country.”
Senior military and paramilitary officers, private security managers and government officials were present at the two-day conference. It gave them the opportunity to network with one another and gain useful and new security tips. The exhibition was dominated by international security experts from the United Kingdom, China, South Africa and the United States of America while indigenous security companies also exhibited their products and services.
The Lagos state commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Oyinlomo Danmole, said the conference and the exhibition will boost the level of security consciousness among Nigerians and prepare the country for tackling the rising cases of bomb blasts and other threats. Danmole said: “I am very impressed with the level of professionals and gadgets being exhibited at the IFSEC event. Some of these equipment are new and what we need to tackle the issue of the militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram, and other security threats in the country; nonetheless, terrorism is a global challenge and the government is not resting on its oars to check all forms of violence. But government needs the cooperation of people as we want to go beyond just responding to crime when they happen to preventing crime. For us to achieve this, all hands must be on deck, to report all suspicious persons in the neighborhood to the law enforcement agents.”
Ross Cullingworth, the Sales Director, Montgomery, and the IFSEC representative in Africa, said the conference is a one-stop shop for security professionals to network with one another and for the exhibition of the latest security gadgets. He said: “This is the second IFSEC conference in Nigeria and this year’s event is a great one as we have seen improvement in security equipment and experts are networking. Also, it is a one-stop shop for all security needs, especially now that Nigeria is facing terror threats. Lagos State has done very well in terms of security and it is also necessary for other states, especially in the North of Nigeria to invest more in security.”
Halogen Security is one of the indigenous security companies at the exhibition stand. Christian Ajayi, a representative, said government should invest more in human development as a way of reducing crime in the country. He said: “Security encompasses more than just spending huge amount as the government has budgeted close to a trillion naira for security in the 2012 budget. But it will also be a great plus if the government channeled some of this fund to economic and infrastructural development so as to tackle youth unemployment. Crime is committed by people and when we have alarming cases of unemployment among the youth and working class people, then it is a call to commit crime. Investing in equipment alone will not tackle crime.”
A participant at the conference, Nnamdi Obasi, the Chief Executive Officer of Safer Nigeria Resources, said the conference and exhibition will boost security in the country. Obasi said: “I have visited the stands at the exhibition and I am amazed at the equipment and gadgets they have on display. With this type of equipment in the hands of our security personnel, terrorism and other violent crime will be checked. Also, there is the need for government to improve the living condition of Nigerians as like the saying goes that an idle man is the devil’s workshop. Therefore, there is the need to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.”
Security equipment and gadgets on display at the exhibition included CCTV products, IP solutions, surveillance fire equipment such as HVAC solutions, barrier and road block equipment, anti-bomb detection and disposal gadgets.