The Private Guard Companies Act (the “PGC Act” or the “Act”), was enacted in 1986 to regulate the licensing of Private Guard Companies (“PGCs”) in Nigeria. Thirty two years after the enactment of the Act, the Minister of Interior issued the Private Guard Companies Regulations, 2018 (the “Regulations”) pursuant to his powers under section 35 of the Act. Section 36 of the Act designates the Minister or an officer authorised by him, to act as the licensing authority.
Subsequent to the PGC Act, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (“NSCDC”) was established in 2003 by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Act and conferred it with the responsibility to recommend for licensing, supervise and monitor the activities of PGCs. NSCDC also inspections the premises of PGCs, their training facilities; keeps a register of all PGCs and seals up any PGC that operates without a valid licence.
The Regulations designate the NSCDC as the licensing authority and introduce several provisions that will materially affect the legal regime under the PGC Act, including the ability of foreign companies to participate in the private guard business in Nigeria.