In most Nigerian homes, the man at the gate is popularly known as a meh-guard – aka gateman or aboki. He’s generally from the Northern part of the country hired by the Landlord to secure the property.
In most cases, he’s given a room at the entrance of the main gate where he usually lives with his wife and kids. This uneducated, untrained and unprofessional individual is the gatekeeper of most Nigerian homes.
To think that educated Nigerians would leave their homes in the hands of an individual with no educational background, no professional backing and no background information is still a mystery.
5 Reasons Why Hiring a Gateman is Risky for Nigerian Homes
In this article, we are going to highlight 5 critical reasons why hiring a gateman is putting Nigerian homes at risk.
No Background Check
This is top on the list of reasons why hiring a gateman is putting Nigerian homes at risk. Why on earth would you want to leave their homes, kids and properties in the hands of an individual whom they know nothing about?
Most of this gatemen are sourced randomly from the neighbourhood or through the referral from another gateman. This is a highly unstructured recruitment process for such a delicate role as a security guard.
When you cannot adequately guarantee the criminal background check of the person protecting your home, how then can you guarantee your own safety or that of your family and properties?
For all we know, your gateman could be an active member of the boko haram sect, have you got any proof otherwise?
Your gateman could be a child rapist, have you got any proof otherwise?
Leaving the safety of your home to a random stranger from the North is not particularly comforting; yet, this is the reality in most Nigerian homes!
No Professional Training
Hiring a meh-guard or gateman is putting Nigerian homes at risk because they lack basic security trainings.
Security is the protection of lives and properties; it’s a highly delicate function. One that requires a considerate amount of training and skill set to successfully perform.
This is why the provision of private security guards is handled by professional security firms who are licensed to recruit, train and deploy professional security guards.
To leave your home, kids and properties in the hands of an untrained aboki, meh-guard or gateman to perform this highly delicate function of protecting lives and properties is a risk.
In the event of a criminal attack or other potential threats, does an aboki have a set of counter measures to take to ensure the protection of your property and the lives of your family?
Is your meh-guard empowered enough to spot impending dangers just from observations?
Can your meh-guard tell the difference between information security breach questions from a random stranger?
Can they write shift reports or event summaries quickly and clearly?
In short, is your gateman knowledgeable about the following basic security guard trainings?
- Security Awareness
- Crisis Intervention
- Security Risk Management
- Patrol Principles
- Crime and Incident Scene Procedures
- Apprehension and Detention Procedures
We didn’t think so too.
So why are you then taking a huge risk with your home, properties and kids by hiring an aboki who is professionally unqualified for the job?
No Corporate Backing
Another reason why hiring a gateman is putting Nigerian homes at risk is the lack of corporate backing. Your aboki or meh-guard is a lone ranger, a one-man army with no backup!
The question then is this; who is held responsible when your aboki makes a mistake on the line of duty? Or who does an aboki call on for help in the face of impending danger or threat?
The answer is pretty simple; NO ONE!
Are you aware that most private security firms are required by law to get a financial indemnity insurance policy for their companies?
This is a private security company insurance policy that covers any liability exposures that private security companies face while performing on the line of duty. This insurance policy provides reliable protection for unpredictable circumstances.
What does this mean?
When any liability occurs in your home or to your property such as missing items, due to the negligence of a security guard on duty, the security company insurance covers this on behalf of the security company.
Meaning, a security company not only protects your home, property and kids, they also protect themselves against unforeseen losses on the line of duty. In other words, by hiring a professional security guard, they are liable for the safety and protection of your property while on duty.
But this is not the only reason why you shouldn’t hire an aboki with no corporate backing to protect your home. Here’s another; are you also aware that most private security firms have some form of liaison with the police?
It’s faster for a professional security guard to get the attention of a police officer to respond to a potential threat than it is for a meh-guard. Why? Because they are legally recognized as fellow protection officers way above any aboki or gateman!
No Proper Inspection/Surveillance
Lack of adequate perimeter monitoring is another reason why hiring a gateman is putting Nigerian homes at risk. Constant checking, inspection and monitoring is part of the basic duties of a professional security guard.
But your average meh-guard or gateman is known for occupying a stationary position at the gate. Rarely does he patrol the remaining parts of the building for inspection.
As a matter of fact, most meh-guards are often distracted by the presence of their family who live with them in the guard house provided. And for those who don’t even have their families living with them, they are untrained to know what to look out for even when they do patrol.
This is a huge risk many Nigerians are taking with their homes, properties and kids. Regularly monitoring the premises of the client is part of the core training a professional security guard is given and expected to perform on the job.
And while doing this, they have been trained to spot any nefarious activities or items or changes to their immediate environment. This helps to prevent the future occurrence of potential threats, risks and dangers.
Is your meh-guard or gateman equipped for this particular security function?
No Security Protocols
The lack of security protocols such as visitor’s registrar and other forms of access control is another reason why hiring a gateman is putting Nigerian homes at risk.
The average gateman or meh-guard is uneducated and are incapable of gathering relevant data from your visitors. Such data can be used for tracking culprits in the event of a criminal incidence.
And apart from visitor’s data gathering, there are other forms of security protocols for access control that are used by professional security guards such as intelligent questioning. There are defined set of questions that are randomly used to ascertain the intent and identity of visitors before granting them initial access into the premises.
Such security intelligence gathering questions are unknown to the average gateman or meh-guard leaving them more prone to falling victims to experienced criminals.
Over to You
So what’s your excuse for hiring a gateman and putting Nigerian homes at risk? It’s never too late to do the right thing that will guarantee the safety of your home, properties and kids.
We at Sheriff Deputies have highly trained and equipped guard force charged to deliver professional protection for your home.