By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC said it is deploying drones to halt the incessant cases of pipeline vandalism in the creeks of Niger Delta.
Commandant General of the Corps, Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu disclosed this Monday in Abuja at a pre-event news conference ahead of a two-day workshop to train security officials and other stakeholders on the use of modern techniques and equipment in securing critical national assets and public infrastructure.
“In the past, we used to think of deploying our men but take for instance, the oil and gas sector where you have thousands of pipelines. How many men would you even deploy in those areas? So, we are instead deploying technology. We have a Command and Control Centre which is the C5 where the activities of our men are viewed and also where there is a security breach regarding any infrastructure, we immediately alert the closest unit to take action. We are using drones to access those areas that are otherwise not easily accessible, especially in the creeks and in certain very remote locations”, he said.
Represented by the Assistant Commandant General in charge of National Assets and Critical Infrastructure, Jonathan Iyogho, and that of Training, Ibrahim Ningi, the civil defence boss also stated that the corps has established Closed Circuit Televisions CCTVs in some locations to monitor power sector infrastructure.
According to him, the workshop seeks to ensure a tactical withdrawal from reactive tendencies in infrastructure policing, saying, “we have to be more proactive because the cost of vandalism is usually more than the initial cost of building those assets”.
He said the NSCDC is trying to get the buy-in of communities, “because they are the first line of protection of such assets as they are located in their areas. They also know themselves and can easily spot strangers among them”.
On the wave of clashes between sedentary farmers and itinerant herdsmen, the civil defence boss assured farmers and investors in the agro-allied sector of adequate protection of their lives and investments, saying it has trained about 5, 000 officers and men for its newly-created agro rangers.
“The aim of setting up the unit is to provide security for the farms against attacks and also provide security for the investors in the agro-allied sector. You would be surprised that you have domestic investors that have put in over N10 billion but they cannot stay in their farms due to insecurity and so we are asking them to come back. We have established a unit in all the states and very soon they will start visiting the farms to provide security”.
On the issue of logistics for the new unit, the CG said the corps has already forwarded its shopping list to the appropriate quarters.
“Equipment can never be enough but we have made our request known to the government on the provision of the needed assistance for the initial take off. I am assuring Nigerian farmers and investors in the sector that we will provide security for them. So, there is no cause for alarm. They should come and invest because their security is guaranteed”, he declared.