Law enforcement agencies in Nigeria are all established to enforce the law without bias, but each agency has a different focus. 

From the famous EFCC to the lesser-known NIA, we’ll break down each law enforcement agency in Nigeria to help you identify them, their history and job descriptions.

The Nigerian Police Force (NPF)

The Nigerian Police Force is the largest organisation on this list and principal law enforcement agency in Nigeria. It was established in 1930 and is currently headed by Inspector General Kayode Egbetokun. 

The NPF is saddled with the responsibility of maintaining law and order and executing the activities of all other law enforcement agencies in the country.  They operate under their functions in Section 214 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) Nigeria Police Act 2020.  

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)

The NDLEA is the country’s foremost agency in its fight against illicit drugs and intoxicants. It performs covert and major operations tackling the cultivation, trafficking and distribution of illegal and dangerous drugs in the country. 

The NDLEA was established in 1989 by decree number 48 of 1989 Act of Parliament. The current chairman of the NDLEA is Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Rtd).

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

The EFCC is the financial safeguard of the country. They focus on financial crimes such as money laundering, fraud, embezzlement and other financial corruption-related cases. 

Their mandate is to combat these crimes and recover stolen funds from guilty defendants. The commission was established in 2003 under the EFCC Establishment Act 2004. The current chairman of the EFCC is Olanipekun Olukoyede. 

Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS)

The NIS handles border security and the integrity of the country. They are in charge of issuing visas, passports and any other document required to make legal entry into the country.

The NIS was established on August 1, 1963, by the Act of Parliament, CAP 171, Laws of the Federation Nigeria. It is currently headed by Comptroller General Kemi Nanna Nandap.  

Nigerian Customs Service (NCS)

The NCS is another agency that ensures the security and integrity of Nigerian borders. Their focus is primarily on imported goods. They ensure the veracity of such goods, issuing documentation and clearance for all imports into the country. 

They’re also tasked with rooting out smugglers and traffickers who circumvent legitimate means of importation to bring in illicit goods like drugs, stolen merchandise, cars, etc. The NCS was established in 1891 and operates under the Customs and Excise Management Act. It is currently headed by Comptroller General Bashir Adewale Adeniyi.

National Intelligence Agency (NIA)

The NIA is the country’s foremost intelligence agency. They operate in secret, focused on finding and distributing intelligence to other agencies. 

They gather intelligence on sensitive issues such as terrorism, kidnapping, child and drug trafficking, cybercrime and gun trafficking. It was established on June 5th, 1986, under the National Security Agencies Act of 1986 (Decree 19). The NIA is currently headed by Director General Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

Department of State Services (DSS)

This agency was formed on June 5th, 1986, under the National Security Agencies Act of 1986 (Decree 19). The agency is currently headed by Director General Yusuf Magaji Bichi. Like its sister agency, the NIA, it is tasked with providing intelligence to the government and other agencies. 

The DSS is  focused on counter-terrorism and investigating national security threats; they also handle the security of core officials of the government. 

Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps

The NSCDC is a paramilitary institution that handles everything from providing security to public infrastructure to protecting the country’s pipelines from vandalism. 

They’re in charge of registering and regulating private security enterprises in the country. It was founded on June 28th, 2003, under the 2003 NSCDC Act. The current head is the Commandant General, Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi.

Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC)

The FRSC is the principal road administration agency and traffic law enforcement agency in the country.

They were established in 1988, under the Federal Road Safety Commission Act and are responsible for all road administration matters such as issuance of driver’s licenses and roadworthiness documents, traffic management and regulation, and ensuring the safety of all vehicle users on the highways. 

The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC)

Established on September 29, 2000, the ICPC is responsible for investigating reports of corruption-related cases of any public body or system.

They receive, investigate and prosecute cases of corruption as dictated by their constitutional mandate under the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act of 2000. The current chairman of the agency is Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye.

From traffic law enforcement to drug control, corrupt financial practices and maintenance of law and order, every agency on this list is committed to enforcing the law and promoting order.

To learn more about other national agencies in Nigeria, click here



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