Kenya security companies raise concern over cost of training guards afresh

Protective Security Industry Association (PSIA) argues that while the reforms are welcome, it may take longer to realise some of them as some sticky issues still remain unresolved.
The association raised questions as to who will cater for the retraining exercise as that will require resources. “We request the government to come out clear on who will bear the cost of retraining all the guards because that will be untenable with the current arrangement and what clients pay to security companies,” PSIA chairman Cosmas Mutava said.

He said it is not clear whether it is the security companies, guards or the government that will pay once retraining begins as proposed. The debate, however, has been on the order by the government to increase the minimum wage paid to guards. PSIA states that it cannot be realised because of the amount paid per guard by clients including government and its agencies. “Who is paying any security company Sh50,000 to assure that if we raise the minimum pay then we shall have any money remaining?” posed Mutava.

PSIA argues that most Kenyans earn less than Sh100,000 which means they will be forced to give more than half of their salaries to security companies to pay guards if the regulations are passed. “Retraining guards will mean that the companies will have higher operating costs above the nine per cent as currently stands and this added to increased wages will definitely drive companies out of business,” the chairman said.

He added that security companies are spending an average of Sh15,000 as costs on every single guard and called for review of the taxation model. Parliament declined to pass a law to increase the wages pending further consultations. PSIA also raised concern over the composition of the Private Security Regulatory Authority Board. Out of the six members nominated from among the security companies, four are from foreign companies which local security agencies term as unfair and discriminatory.