March 23, 2023

‘NSCDC pledges greater commitment to ‘Safe Schools Initiative’

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Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja

Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, has pledged the greater commitment of the Corps to providing the needed schools’ security to enhance a safe teaching and learning environment.

He gave the assurance at a one-day stakeholders workshop organized by the Corps, with the theme, “Ensuring Schools Security For Sustainable National Development”, at the Corps National Headquarters, Abuja.

Director of Corps Public Relations, Commandant Olusola Odumosu in a statement said the 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.

According to the CG, the workshop will provide a forum for stakeholders to thoroughly examine the draft Standard Operating Procedure SOP 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 a series of attacks on schools and kidnapping of school children in the country.

According to Dr Audi, the workshop also seeks 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 published the statistics obtained of all vulnerable schools for necessary action.

The Corps helmsman maintained that in continuation of 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 the workshop, participants will come up with a carefully and thoroughly examined SOP that will serve as a blueprint for the programme’s implementation.

Representative of the Minister of Finance and Coordinator of the National Safe Schools Programme, Hajiya Halima Iliya, commended the NSCDC for prioritizing school 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 the end of the present administration, as efforts are underway to ensure the release 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 contributions 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.