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Nigerian Security Agencies: Responsibilities, Functions and Operations

Accountability, governance and transparency are the necessary in all Nigerian security agencies especially the major ones. For nearly all countries in the world, combating crime and safe guarding the lives and properties of the citizens have always been a significant concern for the government.

It is the responsibility of the state and federal government to put up security agencies with responsibility of administering the duties and functions of the field personnel. There are countless registered security agencies in Nigeria but for the sake of this post and readers, we shall be concentrating on the Major security agencies in Nigeria backed up by the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria as well as their major functions and duties.

In every nation in the world, security and education are key to the future of the citizens hence the largest amounts in the budget. When we talk about security agencies in Nigeria, the average mind goes to the police, army and the navy, in as much as this is trues, there are other government security agencies in Nigeria that are licensed to carry fire arms while some are not licensed to use fire arms however, they are given the power to arrest offenders. In this post, we shall give the list of all government security agencies in Nigeria, their duties and responsibilities and well as their history.

Nigerian Security Agencies: Responsibilities, Functions and Operations 1

As for the private security agencies in Nigeria fully registered and currently in operation, please note that they work in unison with the government established security agencies, hence cooperation.

List of Nigerian Internal Security Agencies: Duties and Functions

1) National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)

The Government of Nigeria is deeply concerned about the magnitude and growing developments in illicit and psychotropic drug demand and trafficking that have a negative influence on the country’s international image and the well-being of its people. Nigeria is a global player in tackling the drug crisis in favor of global peace and security by identifying the connections between illegal drug-and psychotropic trafficking and other associated organizing criminal activities that weaken the legal, economic situation and threaten the stabilization and protection of the country in the sub-region.

NDLEA is Nigeria’s first example of defence, which is a regulatory body that controls the country’s illicit drugs. Their job is to track down the sale and recording of hard drugs. You can find this in places like the airport, highways, seaports, frontiers, etc.

Such guys are always searching for weed and other hard drug crops to kill. The main targets are the members and consumers of these hard drugs. DNLEA was created by Decree No. 48 of the Feral Republic of Nigeria.

Functions and Responsibilities of NDLEA

  1. The control of all the laws on drugs and their compliance roles, including ministers within the federal government, is bestowed by such laws on any person.
  2. They adopt steps to eradicate illicit narcotics plant production and to eradicate illegal narcotics and psychotropic drug demands to reduce human pain and remove financial incentives for unlawful drug and psychotropic trafficking.
  3. They adopt steps like planning, application and management of enforcement and monitoring methods, preventative and coercive intervention.
  4. They facilitate and encourage people, even custodian, who agree to support research or engage in trials on opioids and psychotropic drugs, including in their participation or availability.
  5. Create, sustain and secure Communication to promote the fast sharing and foreign co-operation in countering illegal trafficking by route, sea and air in narcissistic narcotics and psychotropic substances.

2) State Security Service (SSS)

The National Security Organization (NSO) was once known as SSS. Today, the SSS functions as an agency under the president and is under the oversight of the National Security Advisor.

During 1976 and 1986, internal security functions in Nigeria were split between the Nigerian Security Organization (NSO), the central state security agency responsible to the President; the Ministry of Internal Affairs; the national police force; and the Ministry of Defense. On several times, the army was called upon to combat domestic disturbances.

During its ten-year period, NSO was the only security agency for national and international security. The Ambassador was responsible for defining and preventing all crimes against the security of the State, for protecting classified materials and for carrying out any other security tasks delegated to him by the President.

Until the late 1970s, as military authorities stripped numerous citizens of their rights by detention without trial, physical assault, brutality, harassment and intimidation, human rights were not a significant concern. The truth is that Nigeria has not become a one-party state like most other African countries, from taking place. By the beginning of the 1970s, though, human rights ‘ days of “innocence” had gone.

Functions and Responsibilities of the State Security Service

The Nigeria’s leading national intelligence agency is the State Security Service (SSS), classified as the State Department (DSS).

  1. The primary function is to gather intelligence across the world and to secure senior government officials such as presidents and state governors.
  2. They avoid and monitor any domestic security activity in Nigeria within Nigeria throughout Nigeria.
  3. They protect and avoid all Nigeria internal security non-military secret issues.
  4. They prevent and identify within Nigeria of any violence against the country’s (Nigeria) internal security.
  5. They prevent and protect all Nigerian internal security non-military confidential matters.
  6. Others such as that of the Armed Forces Ruling Council or the Chairman, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, may be considered necessary concerning internal security in Nigeria.

3) Nigeria Customs Services (NCS)

A few more than a centuries ago, after the British Colonial administration appointed Mr T. A. Wall in 1891 Director-General of Customs for the retrieval of domestic income in the Niger River, Nigeria Customs became a paramilitary organization. It is the officialisation of activities undertaken by the Ministry under the supervision of the former Chief Executives under the Royal Niger Group. The term Department of Customs and Excise originated in 1922 when the President of Nigeria was named as the first Customs and Excise Collector.

Functions and Responsibilities of NCS

  1. The primary duty of the Nigerian Customs Services is to counter anti-trafficking activities within the country’s borders.
  2. They are responsible for collecting import/export duty revenues and accounting at the frontiers.
  3. They control the smuggling at borders of toxic and hazardous materials, money laundering, weapons and arms. For the execution of governmental policies, they are very relevant. Core functions and other roles can be classified into NCS functions.
  4. The core function is to raise revenue to deter and avoid smuggling. Additional responsibilities include — state budgetary policies implementation.
  5. They generate and prepare statistical data.
  6. They Facilitate trade. Bi-lateral and multi-lateral arrangements implementation.

4) Nigeria Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC)

In the world, the FRSC is a security agency responsible for ensuring the protection of federal roads for passengers. Decree No. 45 of the 1988 Constitution, was created by the committee.

The Commission is responsible for monitoring and training the passengers, maintaining speed limits and ensuring consistency with the rules and regulations.

In a nutshell, they have to reduce the rate of road accidents on our federal highways — their responsibilities. We detain and prosecute traffic offences against road users.

Functions and Responsibilities of the FRSC

  1. The safe road for drivers and other road users.
  2. Research and equipment to prevent or mitigate road accidents, and to notify federal and state governments, including the Federal Capital Territory Authority and the appropriate government departments in the areas where such research and equipment is required.
  3. They educate passengers and the public about the value of road safety.

5) Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS)

It is the sole responsibility of this Nigerian immigration services to manage migration operations in Nigeria. We control people’s entry into the country and provide visitors with residence permits.

We search and punish immigrants who have entered the country illegally. If you’re a tourist with no travel documents, so you know these guys are going to be on your way.

The NIS is responsible for issuing travel documents, visas and foreign and regional passports for Nigerians wishing to fly from or into the country. The NIS was established by the Nigerian government in 1958. In brief, the NIS is responsible for boundary surveillance and regulation and supervision of migration.

Functions and Responsibilities NIS

  1. Registration or admission, departure and control of foreigners ‘ actions in Nigeria, and maintaining legal migration to Nigeria.
  2. They ask and control the travelling documents such as regular, official and diplomatic passports and also security certificates from ECOWAS.
  3. Nigeria policy and implementation: Visa regime.
  4. They Manipulate the boundaries of Nigeria at ground, sea and air.
  5. They are contracting trade in human beings and other trans-border crimes.
  6. Implementing expulsion and repatriation requests in reaction to immigrants banned;
  7. Carry on Nigeria policy and implementation: Quota system for expatriates.
  8. Preparing briefings on qualifications concerning foreigners pursuing naturalization to obtain citizenship in Nigeria.
  9. Gathering, analyzing, investigating and prosecuting information infringements in immigration law and regulation.
  10. Involvement in the implementation of security policies that tackle both national security and conflict management regularly through the manual participation of the Joint Intelligence Board(JIB) meeting (headed by the National Security Advisor)
  11. Participate in other health roles ad-hoc.
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6) Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC)

In crises such as war and terrorism, NSCDC has a responsibility to uphold peace and order and protect civil society. They secure life and belongings, and they checkmate theft of government-owned buildings such as electric wiring wires, oil rockets, generators, etc. Nigeria’s PHCN electricity holding company

This surveillance infrastructure helps civil society informed and tells about specific security measures that are to be implemented in the event of war and civil unrest. The first legal action was taken in May 1967 when the lives of people in Lagos, the then federal capital territory, were saved and secured.

Since then, NSCDC had had the power, accused of involvement with oil bunkering, sabotage and theft of government property and scheme, to arrest and prosecute leaders of the business.

Functions and Responsibilities of NSCDC

  1. Assist in preserving peace and order, and in protecting and saving the civilian population during the emergency period.
  2. Demand that private guard companies.
  3. Register with the minister. Occasionally, audit private guard firms ‘ premises, their training facilities and authorize the same if it is up to standard.
  4. Control and supervise all private guard companies ‘ operations and maintain a record for that purpose.
  5. Seal any private guard business that works without a valid license.
  6. Maintain twenty-four-hour monitoring of Federal, State and Local Government infrastructures, locations, and programs.
  7. Maintain 24-hour monitoring of federal, state and local government infrastructures, facilities and projects.
  8. Access and check the property, and capture any content accused of being used in the validations of government or privately owned properties.
  9. Access and check any suspected illegal dealer’s premises in petroleum products or content used by Nigeria’s power holding company, postal services, Nigeria telecommunications, or any other resource or infrastructure.
  10. The power to arrest, seize, prosecute and conduct criminal prosecutions by or on behalf of the government with or without a warrant.

7) The Nigerian Police Force (NPF)

The Nigerian police have the duty to preserve law and order in society. Police facilitate enforcement of government law and arrest and prosecution of defaulters. A lot of people call them “poor guys.”

In the case of robbery or violent assaults, they search. They belong to the national securities who investigate and ensure that criminal activity is tackled. Nigerian police officers are typically stationed in banks and other government agencies as protection.

We often carry out specific military duties, particularly during civil disorder and conflict, while enjoyed in the affected areas for peacekeeping. We are also connected to top officials, politicians and expatriates as protective assistance.

Functions and responsibilities NPF

Government has to protect the lives, liberties and property of its people and therefore, that reason must determine the government’s exercise of control. Society through its law gives the government broad powers to efficiently and adequately maintain law and order and to protect citizens from the misery, terror, and loss of life and properties incurred by violence and violent conflict. Inherently, police are the most recognizable emblem of the power and authority of any country, and the principal enforcer of its laws; an instrument of social control in possession of those who are state officials.

Defining contemporary police is particularly problematic in terms of their supposed position and functions. Officers are routinely called upon to perform tasks in an intuitive range, from traffic control to extremism. Police’s distinctive feature is that they are the specialist repositories for the monopolization of legitimate force by the state. In other terms, police responsibilities occur not only in crises, but also in the continuous reconstruction of civil society, and they are granted broad legislative powers for the successful performance of their duties and functions.

  1. Protection and prevention of crime.
  2. The indictment of criminals.
  3. Keeping the law and order.
  4. Protection of property and life.
  5. Due compliance of all laws and regulations with which they are correctly charged and conduct specific duties of the military around or outside Nigeria as may be necessary by or with this or any other Act.
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8) Nigeria Prison Service (NPS)

Nigeria’s Modern Prison Service was established in 1861. The prison of the Western kind was implemented in Nigeria during this time. Lagos’s 1861 declaration as a colony represented the beginning of the establishment of the formal government apparatus. The colonial government was at this point concerned with protecting the legitimate trade, obtaining income from the British traders and ensuring the missionaries ‘ operations. To this end, by 1861 a Police Force consisting of around 25 constables was established by the Acting Governor of the Lagos province and then a famous British businessman in Lagos.

Functions and Responsibilities NPS

The Ministry of the Interior and the Civil Defense, Immigration and Prisons Commission are the administrators of Nigeria’s Prisons System.

The operating forces of the Nigerian Correctional Services originate from CAP 366 Laws of the Nigerian Federation in 1990 to:

  1. Bring all those approved for such action by qualified tribunals into lawful custody in the trial, deliver defendants as and when appropriate.
  2. Identify the explanations for the anti-social clauses thereof.
  3. Place in place procedures and preparation frameworks for subsequent reintegration into society as a standard discharge rule for citizens.
  4. To this end, the administration of prisons and farms and factories produces revenue for the government in the process.

9) Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was formed to handle disasters in Nigeria by Act 12, as amended by Law 50 of 1999. Since its creation, NEMA has been resolving crisis-related issues through the development of concrete structures and measures; such as public education to increase awareness and mitigate disaster-related effects in the region.

The Agency also has arrangements in place that allow it to identify, react and battle disasters on a timely basis. NEMA has been instrumental in delivering urgent aid to victims at both national and international levels since 1999. In response to various crises inside the world, the Agency has given relief services to disaster victims from different states across the country. The Ministry has resettled the internally displaced persons (IDPs). An approximate 2,928 returnees were held in the camp for three days, housed, provided relief materials and medical care, and helped with transport tariffs to return to their different states.

Functions and Responsibilities NEMA

  1. Formulate policies on all disaster management activities in Nigeria and organize national disaster response strategies and programs.
  2. Coordinate and support national disaster management study initiatives.
  3. Track the condition of preparedness of all organizations or entities that may relate to disaster management.
  4. Collate data from relevant agencies to improve disaster management modelling, preparation and action on the ground.
  5. Educate and inform the public regarding disaster prevention and control measures.
  6. Organise and promote the procurement of the necessary resources for search and rescue and other forms of disaster response activities.
  7. Receive financial and technical assistance from international organisations and non-governmental agencies for disaster management purposes in Nigeria.
  8. Receive emergency relief resources from state, foreign international and non-governmental agencies.
  9. Deliver emergency relief services to victims of natural or other disasters and help in the reconstruction of casualties in the event of a crash. Work very closely with State Emergency Management Committees formed according to section 8 of this Decree to evaluate and track where appropriate the delivery of relief supplies to victims of disasters.
  10. Provide relief aid to countries as may be decided from time to time.
  11. Liaise with the United National Organization for Disaster Reduction or other international organisations.


Unquestionably, there is no crime-free society because people take on different types of crime every day. There is also the need for lives and property of innocent members of the community to be protected, hence the need for security. Over the years, the National as mentioned earlier Security Agencies in Nigeria has worked round the clock to keep the country secure for her citizens.