This is a full list of the top paramilitary agencies in Nigeria presently as well as their functions or roles. In our country today, there are some top government security agencies that are not part of the armed forces but play vital roles in ensuring that law, order, peace and stability are maintained within our borders. Some of these agencies are collectively called the paramilitary, and their officers are purely civilians who have undergone some form of military training in order to do the job to the best of their abilities.
Paramilitary agencies in Nigeria therefore, are organized federal government armed security organizations that resemble the military in their chains of command, tactics, training, etc., but are not part of the armed forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They are semi-military organizations whose functions are to check crimes and criminal activities within the country and to carry out other assignments delegated to them by the President, and they may also assist the military if called upon to do so.
While we have established that paramilitary organizations are not part of the armed forces of Nigeria, they may function in certain capacities that empowers them to carry fire arms, arrest and prosecute offenders of the law and are very active in helping to quell civil unrest wherever they may occur in any part of the country. These various government agencies can be clearly distinguished from one another by their uniforms and ranks within their organizational set up. With that in mind, let us now see in detail what the major paramilitary organizations are in Nigeria and their duties.
FULL LIST OF TOP PARAMILITARY AGENCIES IN NIGERIA AND THEIR FUNCTIONS
In no particular order, these are the top paramilitary agencies in Nigeria and their roles.
THE NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE (NPF)
The Nigerian Police Force is the chief law enforcement agency in the country. Their primary function is to maintain law and order in the country and they are responsible for ensuring that the laws of the land are very well adhered to, while arresting and prosecuting offenders. The Nigerian Police Force is generally a paramilitary organization but within it is their Mobile Police (MOPOL) arm, which closely resembles the military and is tasked with containing civil unrest in the country. They are also known as the Riot Police. Their duties also involve containing large scale conflict and any other act of crime or violence which requires their attention. To get information about Nigeria Police Force Salary Structure, do kindly click the link provided.
THE NIGERIAN CORRECTIONAL SERVICE (NCoS)
The Nigerian Correctional Service, previously known as the Nigerian Prisons Service, is a paramilitary organization in Nigeria that is responsible for taking into custody those who have been sentenced to jail by the courts of law in the country. The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) derives its mandate from Nigerian Correctional Service Act, 2019 to perform the following functions:
- Taking custody of all persons legally interned
- Providing safe, secure and humane custody for inmates
- Conveying remand persons to and from courts in motorized formations
- Identifying the existence and causes of anti-social behaviours of inmates
- Conducting risk and needs assessment aimed at developing appropriate correctional treatment methods for reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration
- Implementing reformation and rehabilitation programmes to enhance the reintegration of inmates back into the society
- Initiating behaviour modification in inmates through the provision of medical, psychological, spiritual and counselling services for all offenders including violent extremists
- Empowering inmates through the deployment of educational and vocational skills training programmes, and facilitating incentives and income generation through Custodial Centres, farms and industries
- Administering Borstal and related institutions
- Providing support to facilitate the speedy disposal of cases of Awaiting Trial Persons
- Performing other functions as may be required to further the general goal and functions of the Service
- Administering non-custodial measures, including community Service, probation, parole, restorative justice measures and any other none custodial measure assigned by a court of competent jurisdiction.
NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE (NCS)
The Nigeria Customs Service is another top paramilitary agency in the country that are mainly stationed at our land borders and international airports in order to keep smuggling activities in check and arrest offenders. This major paramilitary organization in Nigeria is responsible for the collection of customs revenue, facilitation of both national and international trade and as earlier mentioned, are largely involved in anti-smuggling activities.
NIGERIA SECURITY AND CIVIL DEFENCE CORPS (NSCDC)
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) is a paramilitary agency in Nigeria that was established by Act 3 of 2003 with numerous security responsibilities. This Act was amended in year 2007, to further strengthen and empower the Corps for better service delivery. The Corps has carried out its activities in line with the provision of the Act and has over the period under review succeeded in making landmark achievements within the limit of available resources at its disposal.
Functions of the NSCDC include the following:
- Assist in the maintenance of peace and order and in the protection and rescuing of the Civil population during the period of emergency.
- Recommend to the Minister of Interior the registration of private security companies.
- From time to time, inspect the premises of private guard companies, their training facilities and approve the same if it is up to standard.
- Supervise and monitor the activities of all private guard companies and keep a register for that purpose.
- Periodically organize workshops, and training courses for private guard companies and seal up any private guard company which operates without a valid licence.
- Maintain twenty-four hour surveillance over infrastructures, sites and projects for the Federal, State and Local Government.
- Enter and search any premises and seize any material suspected to have been used in vandalization or suspected proceed of vandalization.
- Enter and search premises of any suspected illegal dealer in petroleum products or material used by Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Postal Services, Nigeria Telecommunication or for any other public utility or infrastructure
- Monitor the activities of religious bodies and trade associations.
- Monitor, investigate, and take every necessary step to forestall any planned Act of terrorism particularly (Cult and Ethnic militia activities, Criminal activities aimed at depriving citizens of their properties or lives, Syndicate activity aimed at defrauding the Federal, State or Local Government)
- Provide intelligence information to the Ministry on any matter relating to: (i) Crime control generally. (ii) Riot, disorder, revolt, strike or religious unrest. (iii) Subversive activity by members of the public aimed at frustrating any government programme or policy. (iv) Industrial action and strike aimed at paralysing Government activities. (v) Any other matter as may be directed by the Minister; and (vi) Have the power to arrange and mediate in the settlement of disputes among willing members of the public.
NIGERIA IMMIGRATION SERVICE (NIS)
The Nigeria Immigration Service is in charge of coordinating the migration of people in and out of the country as well as issuing residence permits to foreigners. They also track, arrest and prosecute foreigners who enter the country illegally. The NIS is charged with the responsibility of issuing travel documents such as visa, international and regional passports, etc., to Nigerians who desire to travel out of the country and they are also into border surveillance.
NATIONAL DRUG LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY (NDLEA)
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is a federal paramilitary agency in Nigeria that is mandated to eliminate the growing, processing, manufacturing, selling, exporting, and trafficking of hard drugs. The agency was established by Decree No. 48 of January 1989 (now an Act of Parliament), and it traces its roots back to 1935 when the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance was enacted to control drug trafficking and abuse.
Functions of the NDLEA include the following:
- Investigation of drug-related crimes
- Prosecution of criminals
- Enforcing drug laws
- Tracing the proceeds of illegal drug trades
- Patrolling public places such as seaports, airports and borders to prevent the importation and exportation of hard drugs
- Partnering with international agencies to fight drug trafficking
- Destroying narcotic plants and substances
- Leading in efforts related to drug-related researches
- Educating the public on the narcotic substances; dangers and abuse.
FEDERAL ROAD SAFETY CORPS (FRSC)
The Federal Road Safety Corps is the paramilitary agency responsible for road safety administration in Nigeria. It was established in 1988, and it operates in all Nigeria’s 36 States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory. The FRSC is the leading agency in Nigeria on road safety administration and management. Its statutory functions include making the highways safe for motorists and other road users as well as checking road worthiness of vehicles, recommending works and infrastructures to eliminate or minimize accidents on the highways and educating motorists and members of the public on the importance of road discipline on the highways.
FEDERAL FIRE SERVICE IN NIGERIA (FFSN)
The Federal Fire Service originated in 1901 as a unit under the Nigerian Police Force. It is charged with the responsibility of mitigating fire outbreak and saving lives during any such outbreak. The Federal Fire Service was formerly known as The Police Brigade and part of their duties involves sensitizing and training the general public on fire fighting and fire outbreak prevention.