Nigeria: Guidance on contracting government security forces

On 18 February 2021, Risk Intelligence published a set of guidelines concerning the use of privately contracted government security forces in Nigeria. The publication was released following the recent developments on the disbanding of the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA) and to provide clarity in the use of armed security (armed escort vessels) in Nigerian waters.

Emblem of the Nigerian Navy.

The use of armed guards on merchant ships has been expressly prohibited by the Nigerian Navy’s Chief of Naval Staff since 6 June 2016. This has resulted in the Nigerian Navy entering contractual relationships with private security companies which have been governed by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) since 2012 which was comprehensively revised in 2016 and again in 2019. The number of private maritime security companies – now designated as Private Maritime Logistics Support Companies (PMLSCs) – increased to 30 MoU holders.

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