Determined to control attacks on schools across the country, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, mni, OFR has assured that its operatives will continue to provide the needed schools’ security to enhance a safe teaching and learning environment.
He gave the assurance at a one-day stakeholders workshop organised by the Corps, with the theme, “Ensuring Schools Security For Sustainable National Development”, at the Corps National Headquarters, Abuja.
The CG hinted that participants were carefully selected from various MDAs who are co-stakeholders in the Safe Schools Initiative programme such as Ministries of Finance and Education, the Nigeria Police, Department of State Services (DSS), National Orientation Agency (NOA), the Nigeria Governors’ Forum among others.
He stated that the workshop will provide a forum for stakeholders to thoroughly examine the draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document for the purpose of validation and full national implementation.
Represented by the Assistant Commandant General in charge of Operations, ACG Philip Ayuba, the CG described the Safe Schools Programme of the Federal Government as laudable, reiterating that, it will bring an end to series of attacks on schools and kidnapping of school children in the country.
According to Dr Audi, the workshop also seek to harvest inputs, welcome suggestions and process the various contributions of other stakeholders towards the commencement of Safe Schools Operations in Nigeria.
He pointed out that as the lead agency in the programme, the NSCDC in May 2021, conducted a vulnerability survey of all schools in the country and have published the statistics obtained of all vulnerable schools for necessary action.
The Corps helmsman maintained that in continuation with its resolve to ensure security in schools, the NSCDC with assistance from the Federal Ministry of Finance, flagged off the National Safe School Response Coordination Centre on the 13th of February, 2023 to commence the national implementation of the programme.
He expressed optimism that at the end of workshop, participants will come up with a carefully and thoroughly examined SOP that will serve as a blueprint for the program’s implementation.
The representative of the Minister of Finance and Coordinator of National Safe Schools Programme, Hajiya Halima Iliya, commended the NSCDC for prioritising schools security and also leading in setting up of a Coordination Centre for the Safe Schools Programme at the NSCDC National Headquarters.
She pledged on behalf of the Minister to facilitate the funding of the programme before end of the present administration, as efforts are underway to ensure releases of necessary funds before the government of the day winds off.
In the same vein, the Chairman of the SOP drafting committee, Prof Tyoor Terhemba, expressed confidence in the composition of the participants for the workshop and encouraged them to make the best use of the technical session for useful contibutions to the draft policy document.
Tyoor said the document will be produced, published and made available to key actors who would be trained to carry out major response activities.