The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has said that the corps will continue to ensure safety of schools in the country.
Commandant General of the Corps, Dr. Ahmed Audi, said this Monday in Abuja, during the opening session of the capacity building courses for safe schools administrators and managers.
Audi said the event marks the commencement of a series of training programmes lined up for Critical Stakeholders to support in driving the process of implementation of the National plan on Safe School (NPSS) in Nigeria.
“The National plan on Safe School is a product of series of consultative engagement with relevant stakeholders at National and sub–National levels of government in Nigeria, aimed at protecting school, learners, teachers, non–teaching staff and host communities from attacks.
“The whole idea of the Safe School plan is in recognition of the prevalence of cases of attacks and violence in Nigeria schools and its devastating impact on schools and host communities. It is estimated that 75% (according to the UNDP) of children are in IDP Camps without access to learning. To further worsen the situation, parents are scared to send their children to schools thereby contributing to the high rate of out – of school children in the country.
“The National Safe School Plan being financed by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning rolled out strategies for implementation assigning the NSCDC the role of the lead agency. This decision was taken cognizant of the Lead Role of the Corps in the protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure inclusive of schools/educational institutions.
“It is worthy of mention that the National Safe Schools Response Coordination Centre (NSSRCC) is one of the critical components of the implementation strategy saddled with the responsibility of coordinating Safety and security responses for schools and host communities in collaboration with all security agencies and other relevant stakeholders.
He added that the centre was flagged off at the Headquarters of the NSCDC on 13th February, 2023 by the Minister, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs (DR) Zainab S. Ahmed. “The flag off signalled the commencement of implementation of the Safe School Program. To underscore the importance attached to this program, I immediately inaugurated a Committee of Experts to develop a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and implementation framework to guide the operation of the centre in line with global best practise.
“The Committee had since completed its assignment and had officially presented the draft SOP on the 7th of March 2023. The Draft SOP was further subjected to Validation by Relevant Stakeholders through a Validation Workshop held on 23rd March, 2023. I have further directed the Commander of the NSSRCC to ensure that the SOP is disseminated to all the stakeholders for proper utilization/implementation.
“Honourable Minister, Distinguished Guests, the implementation strategy for the Safe School Plan emphasises capacity building and awareness creation of stakeholders at the first phase of the implementation.
“I want to use this opportunity to inform this gathering that the task ahead of the Corps as the lead agency is onerous. Let me further stress the fact that the NSSRCC is the Government Institution saddled with direct responsibility of protecting schools and host communities. The whole world is now looking upon the Corps and Nigeria as a Nation on how effective coordination of responses to school attacks and violence could be achieved. I Therefore charge all course participants who have been carefully selected to be committed and dedicated to the success of this project.”