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Published: February 25, 2015

Pilgrims Africa Limited has announced that it will be working with the largest retailer in the world, American multi-national Walmart Stores Inc, providing security and risk services to the company in Nigeria.

The contract is in support of the Ado Bayero Mall, the country’s largest-ever shopping mall. Based in the second largest city of Kano, the mall has around 85 shops, three cinemas and covers a total area of 33,000 square metres.

Pilgrims Africa Managing Director, Cobus Claassens, says: “Pilgrims Africa was established in 2008 when we started working in the Nigerian capital of Lagos, so we have vast experience of the country, the challenges and our clients’ needs. We already had a three year contract with the mall developers, Beverly, to provide a total security solution and technical support, so we were in a strong position to also support individual retailers.”

The initial contract is for two years and is with overall security contractor Omega Security Solutions. Pilgrims role for Walmart’s current six stores (branded as Game and ValueMart) will include providing secure serviced furnished accommodation, journey management, dedicated fleet vehicles, manned guarding and some specific support to the Mobile Nigerian Police Force. Technical support will include alarm installation/monitoring, CCTV installation/monitoring, guard monitoring system and armed response.

Although this is the first time the company has worked with Walmart, Pilgrims has for some time worked with other retailers in Nigeria, such as Shoprite, I-Store and PEP Stores. Pilgrims also has a relationship with USA government departments in Africa.

Claassens continues: “As the shocking 2013 attack on Westgate shopping mall in Kenya demonstrated, the risks are very real and a robust, practical and intelligent approach to security is vital. As part of our role in support of the mall, we will be providing highly trained reaction teams at all entrances and exits who can respond immediately to any incident. The use of handheld metal detectors, baggage X-ray machines and other specialist equipment to ensure those entering are searched, will also form part of the picture. We are continually evaluating the threat in Nigeria and to our clients and introducing the latest use of technology to minimise threats.”

During the last six months of 2014 the intensity of the attacks of Boko Haram had increased dramatically in Northern Nigeria. A number of these terrorist attacks had been in Kano City but, due to the security measures and processes implemented in the Ado Bayero Mall, no attack by Boko Haram had been successful against this mall.

Pilgrims Africa is continuing to expand with the number of Pilgrims Nigerian and expat staff in the country also increasing. Pilgrims Group Managing Director, Bill Freear, adds: “To support our established presence in Nigeria we are also looking into increasing our capability in the maritime sector as well as increasing our ability to provide logistical solutions to projects in remote areas. We are always interested to hear about new projects and possible partnerships.”