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Helping to keep Dublin secure

Last update - Thursday, January 11, 2007, 00:00 By Metro Éireann

In the latest instalment of Metro Eireann’s MEET THE BOSS, SANDY HAZEL speaks to Ade Adebayo, owner and operator of Corporate Eye Security  

Ade Adebayo came to Ireland from Nigeria in 2002 for greater opportunities, having already run his own business in Nigeria, manufacturing vegetable oil. “I had studied chemistry at the University of Ado-Ekiti and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree,” he says, “so working in food science and production seemed a natural progression.

But it was localised, and when we moved to Ireland, we decided to leave the equipment there. We kept our options open as there may have been a time when we wanted to return and use the machinery again.”

When Adebayo speaks of ‘we’ he means himself and his wife Moji, who is also his business partner. “For three years when we were first in Ireland we were not allowed to work, due to residency rules. This was strange for us as we had already been selfemployed and ran a good business.”

The three years were spent studying. “Moji was [going] further with her IT studies and we also gained good experience at Nutgrove Enterprise Centre in Dublin where they ran a ‘Start Your Own Business’ course,” says Adebayo. “It was invaluable, as there are worlds of difference between doing business in Ireland and doing business in Nigeria.”

Adebayo explains: “In Ireland you know exactly where you stand with revenue and VAT; you know what your duties are as a business. In Nigeria it is not so clear. Also, over here it is your reputation and ability to deliver the service which gets you the contracts. In Nigeria, sadly it is too often the ability to pay the largest bribe which will get you the job.”

While Adebayo appreciates a more level playing field, he also acknowledges the superior infrastructure here. “The fact is that things like effective communications and plentiful electricity help you to get the job done better,” he says.

When the chance to work in Ireland finally came, Adebayo saw an opportunity in the security market. “I literally knocked on shop doors and asked them what their security arrangements were and how I could help,” he says. “I started out with one contract and doing shifts myself. Now we are expanding to nine staff, fully uniformed and trained with transport.”

Corporate Eye, Adebayo's company, is licensed by the Private Security Authority (PSA) and now offers services such as manned and static security for shops and events, store detectives, mobile patrols and key holding. The company is certified by the National Standards Authority of Ireland to provide security services. “Training our crew is key to our success,” claims Adebayo.

“There is industry standard induction, but we go further. Our guys know what’s expected of them in many situations. We do health and safety courses too.

“The guards are trained to the PSA principles and we comply with their standards and code of conduct.” Other training includes ‘Safe Pass’ and basic guarding skills, organised by FAS-accredited trainers.

Adebayo is quick to explain what makes a good security presence: “The guys must know everything about the site and they need to be able to read situations well – it’s a difficult job. Mostly the public will appreciate that a security presence is good for a safe and secure shopping or event experience, but there are some people who will cause problems.

“Our staff can maintain a cool head and it helps to have a thick skin in terms of being called names and other abuse. My staff may need to handle removal of people from premises and barring others from stores so it can be physical, but generally it involves being in control and keeping a safe environment. The guys are there in a protective role.”

Elaborating on incidents where staff may face racist remarks from the public, Adebayo is rational: “Look, even back in Nigeria people say bad things about others, there is discrimination also among Nigerians.

“Notwithstanding some incidents, the whole Ireland experience has been a good one for us. It’s tough building your own business but our clients have given us the opportunity and we have built up trust relationships. We are good at helping to keep Dublin secure.”


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