Home Military Major Government Security Agencies in Nigeria & Functions

Major Government Security Agencies in Nigeria & Functions


Crime and security has always been a major concern in virtually all the countries in the world. The government is always on the lookout for criminals who destabilize the peace and order in the society. Nigeria is not an exception. The federal, state and local government have devised means of curbing crime.

Major National Security Agencies in Nigeria

No wonder, lots of resources have been sunk into fighting crime and this is not likely to end anytime soon due to the unrepentant nature of the citizenry. In Nigeria, many security agencies have been instituted and passed into law. They have been given the mandate to enforce the laws, fight different forms of crime and prosecute defaulters.

Sequel to this, we shall now highlight the different government-owned security agencies in the country and their core responsibilities/functions.

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)

NDLEA is the first example of security agency in Nigeria that functions as a regulatory body set aside to control illicit drugs in the country. Their duty is to track down the selling and exporting of hard drugs. They can be found in places such as the Airport, highways, sea ports, borders, etc.

These guys are always on the lookout for cannabis and other hard drugs farms to destroy. Their main targets are the leaders and users of these hard drugs. NDLEA was established in 1990 by Decree number 48 of the federal republic of Nigeria.

State Security Service

The State Security Service (SSS), also known as the Department of State Services (DSS) is the primary domestic intelligence agency of Nigeria. Its primary function is intelligence gathering within the country and protecting senior government officials such as the President and state governors.

It was formerly called the National Security Organization (NSO). Today, the SSS operates as a department within the presidency and is under the control of the National Security Adviser.

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)

The Nigeria Customs service has a primary duty of tackling anti-smuggling activities within the borders of the country. They are in-charge of collecting and accounting for import/export duty revenues at the borders.

They check mate the smuggling of toxic and hazardous substances, money laundering, guns and weapons at the borders. They are a very important element for the implementation of Government policies.

Nigeria Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)

The FRSC is a paramilitary organization in the country saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that the federal roads are safe for motorists. The commission was established through Decree No. 45 of the 1988 constitution.

This commission is mandated to check mate the users, educate them, assign speed limits, and ensure that they adhere to the rules and regulations of the road.

In a nut shell, their duties are channeled towards reducing the rate of road accidents on our federal roads. They arrest and prosecute road users that commit traffic offenses.

Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS)

The Nigerian immigration service has a sole responsibility of coordinating the migration activities in the country. They control the entrance of people into the country and they offer residence permits to foreigners.

They check mate and prosecute foreigners that made illegal entrance into tho country. If you are a foreigner without your travel papers, then know that these guys will be on your trail.

For Nigerians seeking to travel out of or into the country, NIS, are in-charge of issuing travel documents, visa, international and regional passports. NIS was carved out from the Nigerian police force in 1958. In a nutshell, the NIS is mandated to undertake border surveillance and control and migration management.

Nigeria Security and Civil Defense (NSCDC)

NSCDC has the mandate to maintain peace and order and to safe the civil society during period of emergency such as war and terrorism. They protect t lives and property, they check mate vandalism of facilities owned by government such as power holding company of Nigeria (PHCN) electric wire cables, oil rigs, engines, etc.

This security outfit sensitize and educate the civil society on some security measures to be taken in time of war and civil unrest. They first swung into action during the civil war in may 1967 when they rescued and protected the lives of civilians in Lagos, the then federal capital territory.

NSCDC had since then been given the right to arrest and prosecute members of the society suspected to deal in oil bunkering, vandalism and burglary of government-owned property and projects.

The Nigerian Police Force (NPF)

The Nigerian police is saddled with the responsibility of maintaining law and order in the society. They ensure that the laws of the government are implemented and defaulters arrested and prosecuted. A lot of persons call them “men in black”.

They patrol in cases of burglary or armed robbery attacks. They are part of national securities that investigates and ensure that criminals are clamped down. Officers of the Nigerian police are usually deployed as security in banks and other government agencies.

They also perform some military duties mostly during the period of civil unrest and war when they are sent for peace keeping in affected areas. They are also attached as security aids to top government officials, politicians and expatriates.

Wrapping Up

It is an incontrovertible fact that there is no society devoid of crime, this is because people engage in different forms of criminal activities daily. There is always the need for lives and properties of innocent members of the society to be protected, hence the need for security. The aforementioned National security agencies have over the years been working round the clock to ensure that Nigeria is safe for her citizens.

Are these agencies allowed to possess guns and fire-arms?

In an online report, the President recently signed into law with executive powers to remove, revoke, banish all firearm or shotgun certificate or license in Nigeria

This executive order will start from 1st June 2019. Nobody in the country is now allowed or authorised to own or carry prohibited weapons or gun.

If you think you have any license issued to you in the past / previously allowing you to own or carry any type of gun, prohibited weapons, components parts and prohibited ammunition or selling; that license is now dead.

Only legit police officers and the army that is fully authorised can carry a gun.

All Civil Defense Corps and other security organisation are no longer allowed to carry weapons from 1st June 2019.

You must: now hand in back all type of firearm license or certificate issued to you in the past to the nearest police headquarter in your state.

Please do not hand-in your old certificate / license in a police station. It must be handed at the police headquarters.


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