March 15, 2024

Kidnappings: FG urges state governors to establish safe school response centres

Kidnappings: FG urges state governors to establish safe school response centres

The Federal Government has called on state governors to establish Safe School Response Coordination Centres to forestall attacks and kidnappings in schools.

The Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu, made this submission while inspecting facilities at the National Safe School Response Coordination Centre located at the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) headquarters on Friday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National Safe School Response Coordination Centre was established by the Federal Government in February 2023 to enhance the security of schools and host communities.

The centre is also to coordinate security agencies and other critical stakeholders by receiving and referring complaints as well as maintaining emergency hotlines.

The lead agency of the project is NSCDC, which works in collaboration with other sister agencies.

Inspecting the facilities, the Sununu explained that education was critical to the development of the country; hence, an attack on the system would have a ripple effect on the nation.

Sununu urged state governors to take proactive steps to safeguard schools in their domain.

He said the inspection became imperative owing to the recent kidnapping of students and teachers in Sokoto and Kaduna States.

“Education is the key ingredient for individuals, communities, and international organizations for rapid development.

“Nigeria is leading globally in areas of out-of-school children in spite of all investments in education; therefore, this attack is unacceptable.

“The abduction of schoolchildren by bandits is an attack on education which should not be condoned.

“We implore all the state governments in Nigeria to see how they can quickly, in the next few weeks, establish their own centre that will be directly connected to this centre,” he said.

The minister appreciated the NSCDC for its activities so far, saying the Federal Government was committed to repositioning the response Centre for optimal performance.

Responding, the Commandant of the National Safe School Response Coordination Centre, Hammed Aboderin, appealed to members of the host communities to always avail the security agencies with the necessary information to enable them to carry out their duties.

Aboderin identified funding as a major challenge to achieving their mandate.

Also, the Head of Financing, Safe School Secretariat, Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Hajia Halima Iliya, said modalities had been put in place to ensure adequate funding for the project. (NAN)