By Odita Sonny
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Technocrime Security Limited, Chief Tony Azuya had emerged a ‘Silent Hero in Private Security and Safety Industry’ in the recently organized Silent Heroes award by the Nigerian Silent Heroes Award (NSHA) initiative which took place at Sheraton Hotels in Abuja. Among the nation’s over 1000 licensed private security practitioners who run their companies, he was adjudged the best in the sector in the year under review. The industry consists of those who provide manned guarding, electronic security, training and consultancy, industrial security.
To those, who are familiar with Technocrime and its activities over the years, the award to Azuya did not come as a surprise. He has been a steady player with progressive tendencies and commitment to developing the industry to take a pride of place like some other prestigious professions. He may not be flamboyant in commonly coming out in the public space all the time to debate issues about security in Nigeria, but he is certainly a great industry player who is silently and uniquely doing some rebranding that clearly separates the pedestrian players from those on a mission to change the face of private security practice in Nigeria.
With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Benin, Azuya did not miss his path to stray into an unfamiliar terrain as his innate ability of an entrepreneur and stellar heart had moved him into the risky business of private security practice at a time the industry was fledging. He had joined the industry as a relatively young graduate with no known pedigree in security. He founded Technocrime Security Limited about 1994 and got it incorporated in 1998. Initially the attempt seemed to be an aberration for a man who did not serve in the military or police; which were then the benchmark for those looking for guards’ business.
Undeterred by what may be called a stereo-type in the industry and with a clear perception of where the world was headed, Azuya keyed into the emerging global private security trend to fashion out Technocrime which today has no fewer than 15,000 personnel rendering different types of services which include manned guarding, executive and diplomatic protection, cash-in-transit movement, door supervision, surveillance detection, electronic monitoring and dispatch, CCTV, alarm response etc.
With a corporate vision of striving to achieve the highest ethical and professional standards in response to clients’ needs at all times by incorporating hi-tech automation and maintaining a workforce of professional, courteous and confident members, Technocrime Security Limited which has consistently existed for over two decades is well rated within the finance institution, blue chip companies and others. This is made possible through the provision of disciplined, smart-looking and well equipped workforce that has quick response capability and maintains close links with crime preventive task forces of the law enforcement agencies.
Conscious of the emerging global trend in every facet, Azuya as the visionary behind the Technocrime brand from the outset, had chosen to bench mark with international standards by relying on continuous training programmes and development of learning cultures and team spirit to ensure that the company’s customers derive good value for their money. The company is ISO 9001 Certified and currently has about eighteen branch offices throughout Nigeria.
Perhaps with a benefit of his background as a graduate of business administration, Azuya has steadily positioned Technocrime as a venture that must be run with the best business principles unlike some other security firms which exist only in name with no structure on ground to show for the name they bear in the industry arena. Such posturing has earned the company some commendation as one of the best in the industry in terms of revenue generation that steadily ensures an increase in returns on investment.
This has reflected in the company’s revenue which has grown in excess of 12% annually for over seven years without mergers or acquisitions. It has also reflected in movement of the corporate headquarters of the company from its earliest rented operating space to its multi-billion head office complex in high-brow Lekki area of Lagos. Apart from offices for personnel, the new corporate head office also provides space for the company’s academy for the in-house training of personnel.
In terms of recruitment, Technocrime Security Limited under the leadership of Chief Tony Azuya has always allowed itself to be guided by the terms that are in compliance with the stipulations of the Private Guards Company’s Act No. 33 of 1986. The company recruits, trains and deploy security personnel in accordance with mutually agreed terms. Apart from engaging some personnel with law enforcement or military background, the company has a large pool of young school leavers from the tertiary institutions or secondary schools in its employment.
The young personnel, many of whom are field staff have made career in security by enrolling for professional trainings in the available security training institutions in the country such as the Institute of Security, Nigeria at the University of Lagos which offers Diploma in security operations and management.
As one of the leading private security companies in the 21st Century Nigeria, Technocrime has stepped ahead to make a difference in an industry that was over the years looked down upon as an all comers sector where the security officer was seen merely as a gate man. The professionalism and rebranding brought about by industry operators like Tony Azuya has led to a paradigm shift in the welfare package of security personnel which has necessitated a competitive salary structure and other allowances. In contemporary times, an entry level salary for security officers at Technocrime is N70,000 per month for those with zero to two years experience in the industry.
One unique tradition of Technocrime entails a commitment to its workers which includes humanized working conditions, long term employment, long range staff development, consensus decision making and attention to human relations. Over the years, the company had established a special team of quality assurance professionals and the company emerged the first in the industry to attain the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) registration and recognition in Nigeria. This has remained a cutting edge for the company.
At a time, Technocrime Security Limited mooted the idea of providing ambulance services for personnel of the company and other industry operators as a way of mitigating losses that would arise from industrial accidents or sickness that may occur in work places. Little wonder some testimonies about Technocrime Security Limited in the social media attest to the fact that it is a company to reckon with. While some people have described it as a “security service company provider to multiple establishments, others see it as the best security firm in Nigeria and a great place to work.”
Some commentators have described Technocrime as the best security firm in Nigeria with guaranteed intelligent staff, dependable gadgets, full armoured bullion vans and hundred percent response to emergency, with guaranteed safety. Its branches all over the nation are networked with good communication system.
Similar testimonies are often not lacking at Chief Azuya’s birthdays as some admirers of his enduring legacy at Technocrime would want to describe him in various ways exemplified by one of such admirers during his last birthday wherein he described Azuya as “a man of substance with business acumen and a politician par excellence. He is one of the few accomplished individuals who have remained meek and capacious ,associating himself across different classes of people in the community. At any time; I can boast of his uncommon styles of assisting in the reorientation of young people. He is intelligent, public spirited, bold and humble. He is exceptional leader. He is one of the world’s most congenial and attractive personalities. His kinds are rare, in this generation.”
With a mind that is not far removed from humanity, Azuya latching on the Technocrime brand, has taken the concept of corporate social responsibility to another level as over the years, he has chosen to boost his welfarist nature as employer of labour by extending same largely to his Delta community of Ibusa where his Foundation hosts children’s party on every New Year day. Being conscious of his social environment, as a grass root entrepreneur and humanist, Azuya has seen the need to give back to society through caring for less privileged children at such auspicious times like Christmas.
The event draws children from the various local government areas in Delta North to Ibusa where they are usually treated with fun-filled activities. The New Year party is a special day dedicated to children by Azuya. It serves as a reminder to all Nigerians to care for and support less privileged and vulnerable children in the society.
Over the years, Chief Azuya has also been an active political player in Delta North Senatorial District, seeking different platforms through which he can be elected to represent his people either at the state or federal level. Though, he has not been able to actualize his political ambition, yet he is a force to reckon with, in terms of providing a peaceful atmosphere for political gladiators to play their game in the area. With his seasoned experience and consistency, he is sure to become politically fulfilled some day.
This is evident in the fact that in recent time towards the preparation for the 2019 general elections, hundreds of youths from Oshimili North Local Government Areas of Delta State joined thousands of Oshimili North people clamoring for Azuya to contest for the 2019 Delta State House of Assembly Election. The youths made their position known during a solidarity visit to his house in Ibusa.
The leader of the group, Comrade Victor Okonji had at that occasion said that the youths were upset with the breakdown of security and the seeming lack of interest by the sitting representative of the Local Government, to address the problems. The youths were obviously convinced that Azuya is the right leader with the needed credibility and capacity Oshimilil North needs to fix its numerous problems and move the Local Government forward economically. The days ahead would certainly determine where the pendulum swings for the Technocrime boss whose tenacity to progressive ideals is not in doubt.