By Henry Umoru
THE Senate has begun moves to establish the Nigerian Civil Defence Academy in Pandogari, Niger State, aimed at providing the legal and institutional framework for the establishment of higher institution that would bridge the noticeable gap of lack of a recognized higher institution to train Civil Defence Corps.
The Bill is an Act to Establish the Nigerian Civil Defence Academy Pandogari to serve as an institution of high level manpower development, with mandate to train Civil Defence Officers to acquire and attain the highest standards of professionalism and award such certificate as may be approved by the relevant academic regulatory body from time to time and for other related matters 2020(SB.242).
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The Bill sponsored by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, All Progressives Congress, APC, Niger East, yesterday scaled second reading and was referred by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan to the Senate Committee on Interior to report back in four weeks.
In his lead Debate, Senator Musa said the Bill is to provide the legal and institutional framework for the establishment of the highest academic institution responsible for high standard trailing and award of certificate in the Civil Defence Corps.
According to him, if the bill is passed into law, just like other similar security organizations, the academy when established will provide for the conferment of the highest academic qualifications, Training and also provide for equipping of our Civil Defence Corps with the required knowledge and skills, that would be recognized by other institutions the world over.
Senator Musa said that the proposed Institution would therefore outline a comprehensive academic and skills programme that would equip our Civil Defence Corps With the technical knowledge to execute its mandate of providing security in Nigeria. The Civil Defence Academy is expected to be to the Civil Defence Corps what the Nigerian Police Academies are t0 the Nigerian Police.
He said, The advantage and rationale behind sitting the Institution in Pandogeri is to occupy the vast land of Kamuku Forest that covers millions of hectares of land mass from Niger State which extends to Kaduna and Katsina States which in recant time has become safe haven for kidnappers and bandits. Also pla‘mg the institution in the border line between North Central and North Western part of the court; Will greatly help in curtailing the menace of cattle rustling, kidnapping and Banditry recently experienced within these areas.
“I am delighted to lead the debate on the Bill to enact an Act to establish Nigerian Civil Defence Academy Pandogari (Establishment) Bill, 2020 to serve as “an institution of high level manpower development, with a mandate to train Civil Defence Corps to acquire and attain the highest standards of professionalism and award such certificate as may be approved by the relevant academic regulatory body from time to time; and for other related matters.
“You will recall that this Bill was read for the first time on Tuesday, 3ml December, 2019.
“It should be emphasized that the proposal for the establishment of the Nigerian Civil Defence Academy is a fall out of several internal security challenges we face as a Nation which is clearly becoming overwhelming to our Security Agencies. It has become apparent that efforts have to be made to develop the capacities of supportive security organs such as the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps, who are expected to in conjunction with the Nigerian Police provide internal security, and to attain the highest standards of professionalism. This is with a view to address other issues such as human rights abuses, abuse and misuse of power, unprofessional conducts and other security related matters.
“This Academy will provides strategic leadership training to the Civil Defense Corps which is most desirable in our national security matters and will also acts as a think tank on domestic security frameworks and it will be an important platform in shaping up the Community policing system.”
According to the Senator, “It is the desire of all Nigerians to live peacefully and co-operate with all. Nevertheless, no defence apparatus could live in pure idealistic way. It has to be very realistic and remain prepared. for any emergency. Hence the need for proper training that will provide for an effective coordination between security services and other aspects of the country’s economic, industrial and administrative life, including the country’s foreign policy.
“The establishment of this institution had become very desirable and a positive necessity to meet the security-problems-as they were likely to be in future. Nigeria has been battling insecurity and had to face these problems continuously for a considerable period now. The Academy will develop a broader outlook and understanding, out of which would grow a broader strategy. Security itself is not an isolated matter now. It is intimately connected with the economic aspect, industrial aspect and many other aspects in the country.
“The setting up of Nigerian Civil Defence Academy is to be providing instruction to all cadre of Civil Defence officers’ in the wider aspects of higher direction and Strategy of maintaining internal security matters. The Academy will serve as a multiservice institution, that will provide future decision makers with the necessary skills and background for filling senior positions in National Security and associated fields.”
Speaking further, Senator Musa said that, “the Nigerian Civil Defence Academy can also provide joint training and instruction to both junior/ senior service and civil officers and will be under the administrative control of the Ministry of Interior. The study at the Academy will relate to strategic, economic, scientific, political and industrial aspects of national internal security and civil defence matters. Which will not be limited to the scope of study but also the aim will include an examination of internal and external threats to the security of Nigeria as well as possible trends in the future.
“Such studies will include analysis of diverse factors such as security policies of states and that of the Federal government; conflicts over vital economic interests or territorial claims and factional, communal or political differences. Members of the course would also analyse formulation of national strategy for various contingencies up to and including the outbreak of war, the international security threats which Nigeria faces, including human trafficking, mass migration, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, terrorism, cyber-crime and explosion of refugees on account of armed conflicts in the region.
“It is common knowledge that the Civil Defence Corps does not have a recognized and legally backed Institution that is required to train its Corps WHEREAS as a security agency, there ought to be an institution charged with the sole responsibility of bringing to fore, brilliant Corps as graduates as proposed by this Bill to enable the Civil Defence carry out their duties diligently.”