The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has set up a Safe School Special Response Squad (SSSRS) to ensure proper protection of schools across the country.
NSCDC Commandant-General (CG), Dr Ahmed Audi, said this on Monday at the opening ceremony of a three-day safe school administration and managers training program at the Corps’ headquarters in Abuja.
Audi, represented by Deputy Commandant-General in charge of Operations, Danladi Mungadi, said that the SSSRS was the armed unit of the National Safe Schools Response Coordination Centre (NSSRCC).
“ By virtue of this creation, the Rapid Response squad and the Female squad have been collapsed into the SSSRS,” he said.
The CG said that one major responsibility of the new squad would be to undertake regular patrol and response to distress calls from schools.
He, however, said that other duties of the team had been stipulated in the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the NSSRCC.
“ I have further directed the Commander of the NSSRCC to ensure that the SOP is disseminated to all stakeholders for proper utilisation, implementation,” he said.
He further directed all command heads to appoint a safe school liaison officer for necessary interface with the NSSRCC.
Audi said that these reforms were aimed at re-strategising and repositioning the project for better service delivery.
He said that the implementation strategy for the safe school plan emphasised capacity building and awareness creation for stakeholders, hence the need for the ongoing training.
Audi reiterated that NSSRCC was saddled with the responsibility of ensuring safety and security responses for schools and host communities in collaboration with all security agencies and key stakeholders.
He appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari, security agencies and private and public sectors that had joined in ensuring Nigeria’s safe school initiative strived.
“This is a new creation which requires all hands on deck if we are to achieve safety for schools and host communities by guaranteeing a seamless learning process in Nigeria,” he said.
The Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu, said that it was imperative to understand the threats to schools and how to ensure proactive intelligence and security measures.
Adamu who was represented by the Ministry’s Education Support Services, Director, Dr Lydia Gigginna, said that Education in Nigeria must be protected at all cost from all forms of attacks.
The minister said that the Federal Government was committed to prioritising the safety of schools which led to the safe school initiative and declaration.
He said that it was also important to ensure school infrastructure were secured by preventing vandalism of school property, avoid building collapse and arson.
Adamu said that it was significant for threats to be treated seriously by investigating incidents promptly and efficiently.
“ Use support staff, take appropriate disciplinary and criminal enforcement steps, document the threats and actions taken, apply security measures,” he said.
Commander of the NSSRCC, Dr Tersoo Shapeera, said that the centre would continue to work efficiently in responding to school emergencies.
Shapeera said that the insecurity of schools in certain parts of the country had impacted on students, teachers, parents and communities; psychologically, socially and physically.
“This situations could deter the future of Nigerian children so there is a compelling need for all stakeholders to react due to the rate of drop-outs insecurity has produced,” he said.
The commander of the centre said that plans were underway to establish more NSSRCC across the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory with headquarters at the NSCDC headquarters.
“ We hope to get more personnel, staff at the center as we plan to run 24/hrs in collaboration with all stakeholders,” he said.
“We are looking for partnership and support from individuals, private sector, government, international communities and civil societies.
“We are also in need of technical resources, financial support, equipment among other needs,” he said.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria