Prospective househelps should go through mandatory psychiatric checks — Security expert

Mr Paul Ayeni, a retired Corps Commandant (CC) of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has suggested a mandatory psychiatric assessment for every prospective househelps before being employed.

Ayeni, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abeokuta, Ogun State, spoke on the need to address the recurring incidents of crimes committed by househelps.

According to him, the challenge has often not been paid the needed attention as Nigerians still engage people they don’t know as househelps.

Ayeni condemned a recent tragic incident in Lagos where a woman was fatally stabbed by her househelp, attributing such occurrences to negligence in conducting thorough background checks before hiring.

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“The laxity in conducting proper background checks has consistently resulted in dire consequences,” Ayeni remarked.

While highlighting the irreplaceable role of parents as the best caregivers for children, Ayeni advised couples to devise effective plans for caring for their children until they reach maturity.

In cases where hiring a house help is unavoidable, Ayeni emphasised the importance of conducting comprehensive background checks on potential employees.

The security expert noted that employers could initiate the screening process by visiting the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to verify if the candidate had any criminal record.

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Ayeni urged employers to take prospective househelps to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Forensic Laboratory to check for any involvement in illicit drugs, noting the correlation between drug abuse and the commission of violent crimes.

Highlighting the role of mental health in preventing crimes, Ayeni said there was a need for employers to seek psychiatric evaluations to assess the psychological well-being of prospective househelps.

He appealed to employers to exercise caution and refrain from rushing to hire house helps, considering the alarming rate of tragic incidents involving domestic workers.

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