Global Security Advisor visits East Africa team

A busy few days visiting our client's key locations in East Africa. The focus this trip was Kenya, Mozambique and Ethiopia where the tempo of projects and also associated risks are picking up. As well as assessing the overall security situation and travel risks we also made time to review current procedures, office and accommodation location security.

Through our Regional Security Advisor network and the project teams on the ground I was able to meet more great contacts who will be on hand to assist us in further extending our security network and aiding our clients. Overall, a very busy and successful trip fuelled in part with great coffee which the office is now enjoying. At the current rate of consumption it won't be long until I'll be required to travel again.

Another week of HEAT courses

Last week saw a Spearfish successfully running HEAT courses in the UK and and in the US . Our Head of Training ran our course in Hampshire with our newest member of the team Lorraine . Over in Washington DC we had Cath running a course of 13 in our onsite training venue which is based just over an hour outside of the capital.

This month saw the launch of our new timetable. At spearfish we understand how important it is to keep modifying and updating our course material to suit the needs of people operating in high risk areas. We also had film crew down with us at our training site in the UK which we look forward to sharing with you soon.

In the next couple of weeks we will be concentrating our HEAT courses in Abuja and , pending election outcome, Bauchi. Our Spearfish West Africa team are putting these courses together , we will be using both our international training team as well as our in country training team to take on these upcoming courses.

If you would like to know about our upcoming courses or if you would like discuss a bespoke course for your in country projects please contact us at mail@spear-fish.com

Nigerian Elections - The weekend before the big day - not just the rugby

Written by

Neal Peckham - Senior Security Manager in Nigeria

An interesting week! The last-minute postponement (0245am on the day) of the elections by the Chairman of INEC was met by some anger, much derision, but mostly with stoicism by the vast bulk of the Nigerian population. Many had travelled considerable distances to make their vote in their place of registration. The realisation that the voting dates had now been put back one week left many with the conundrum of whether to lose a week’s salary by staying put or accepting the additional cost of having to return a week hence.

For our client, all offices had closed two days ahead of the vote and staff were working from home. The fact that the country had remained largely peaceful following the postponement announcement meant that everyone was able to return to work on Monday. However, the company’s risk mitigation measures have simply been re-cocked and I write this from my flat where I am hibernating until voting is over, the count is done and we are able to gauge the reaction to the voting outcome.

At least last weekend was a useful practice of our communication measures with both WhatsApp and the bulk SMS keeping staff informed. The Government have said that they will not tinker with the Internet as it is critical to the nation’s critical security infrastructure. However, should insecurity bloom in the wake of the election, I am concerned that they may choose to switch off GSM networks. This would seriously hamper our communications as for many, the internet is only available via GSM.

Whilst preparing for the worst we hope for the best. This includes hoping that England beats Wales tomorrow in the 6 Nations – despite tomorrow’s curfew I will be able to pop across the road to take advantage of the Serendip restaurant’s DSTV sports channel (kick off at 1745 local) and, of course, a refreshing bottle of Gulder lager! Have a good weekend everyone!

Dan Hooton, Spearfish's MD visits Abuja ahead of Nigerian Elections

Following close on the heels of our Senior Security Advisor, Darren’s visit the week before, I spent last week in Abuja with the team checking on our preparations for the forthcoming election period.  A strange air of uncertainty had descended on Nigeria, with no one quite sure as to how the next few weeks will play out.  Would the voting pass off peacefully, or will a closely contested vote descend into a battle of lawlessness and instability?  The truth is that no one really knows and that the best thing to do was to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Our team in Abuja, Gombe and Bauchi have all spent the last two months busily ensuring that our clients (and our own) business continuity and evacuation plans have all been written but more importantly, adequately resourced.  A policy of restricting travel plans, working from home and having robust contingency plans in place for civil unrest and medical emergency have formed our main mitigation strategies, achieving the fine balance of keeping people out of harm's way whilst allowing their businesses to operate to as near to normal as possible during the elections.

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Our team in Abuja, Gombe and Bauchi have all spent the last two months busily ensuring that our clients (and our own) business continuity and evacuation plans have all been written but more importantly, adequately resourced. 

A policy of restricting travel plans, working from home and having robust contingency plans in place for civil unrest and medical emergency have formed our main mitigation strategies, achieving the fine balance of keeping people out of harm's way whilst allowing their businesses to operate to as near to normal as possible during the elections.

For more information about the type of services we can provide please contact us or visit our website site spear-fish.com.

Spearfish Senior Security Advisor visit to Abuja

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Darren Kelly, our Senior Security Advisor has been spending this week with our Spearfish West Africa Team.  

Good to be back in Abuja visiting the project teams. It's a wonderfully vibrant city with a lot going on and the people are so welcoming and friendly. 

A successful 4 days with the client in the run up to the elections in Nigeria. We've spent the time covering contingency planning, medical evacuation and relocation strategies for the various projects operating across the country. In addition we've reviewed journey management procedures and crisis planning. The teams have worked extremely hard and it's been a hugely worthwhile trip to ensure that everything is place and ready to go if required. 

Spearfish sponsor Royal Navy Cresta Team - 2019 Inter-Services Championships

Once again Spearfish have sponsored the Royal Navy Cresta Team (in a very small fashion) who are racing tomorrow in their annual Inter-services Championship against the Army and the Air Force, results can be found here tomorrow afternoon after the race! Good Luck Everyone

#Royal Cresta Team #Inter-Services Championships

 https://www.cresta-run.com/events-races/event-details/calendar/2019/01/30/event/details/-c262bb3806/view-month%7Cpage_id-14///1/

Nigeria National Election Planning

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Happy New Year from the offices in the UK and our Spearfish West Africa team based here in Abuja. The Nigerian National Elections are fast approaching and we understand this is the time when a company takes its duty of care to its employees extremely seriously. Our advisors are ready and able to assist with your contingency planning and can develop a bespoke plan to be able to respond to unforeseen and/or unplanned events that can impact operations and life whether it be at work or at home.

 We have a depth of knowledge and experience in providing crisis management and response training, business continuity planning and direct support to your country teams. Spearfish has been operating in Nigeria for the last five years and has a good understanding of the current situation country-wide. Our Abuja based team are able to work directly with you and your teams providing a tailored level of service and support.

 Below is a snapshot of the services we currently provide. All services are fee-based with the exception of our daily email alerts which we offer for free.

  • Collated and distributed by SF members every day by 1100hrs.

  • 2-3 lines outlining incident/event with hyperlink to original open-source report.

  • Information is confirmed to be reported in at least 2 verifiable 3rd party sources.

  • Free subscription

 TWICE MONTHLY COUNTRY-WIDE REPORT

  • Produced in-house by Spearfish members & delivered every Friday AM.

  • In-depth write-up on specific events/incidences that may produce a significant impact in country.

  • Can be client AoR focused.

  • Fee-based subscription

 CONSULTANCY SUPPORT

  • Bespoke Spearfish consultancy support to help establish or review & revise the following:

  • Business Continuity Planning (BCP)

  • Enhanced Standard Operating Procedures 

  • Determine critical staff, procedures, etc. 

  • Info bulletins, Phone trees

  • Crisis & Incident Management Planning (CIMP)

  • Who does What in the event of….

HIBERNATION, RELOCATION & EVACUATION (HRE) PLANNING & PREPARATION

  • Communications 

  • Safe Havens 

  • Stocking emergency items 

  • Travel 

  • Journey management planning

  • Immigration protocol

IN- DEPTH ANALYSIS & BRIEFING AND/0R PRESENTATIONS  

  • Client focused areas of operations security analysis

  • Fee-based subscription

For more information about these services listed please get in touch directly Mat Schreader or Neal Peckham.