By Bukar Bolori
The Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Ahmed Audi has lamented that about 62,271 schools across the country have no form of security presence, opening up the schools to kidnapping of students.
Speaking at the commemoration of the World Civil Defence Day in Abuja on Tuesday, Audi: “In response to the Safe School Initiative of the Federal Government, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps did a vulnerability survey of schools in Nigeria and prepared a framework of proactive security measures to be taken towards addressing the dangerous trend of attack on schools in the Country.”
He disclosed that the survey showed that there are 81,545 registered schools in the country, with about 44,297 of this number private schools while 37,248 are government owned/public schools across the 36 States and the FCT.
He noted that out of this figure, 35,112 are located in urban areas while 47,115 are located in rural areas, stressing that the survey further showed that 22,398 schools have perimeter fencing and 58,967 schools are without perimeter fence.
Audi added that the survey further revealed that only about 17,164 schools have a form of physical security presence whose personnel are largely untrained, and about 62,271 schools have no form of security presence.
He said something needed to be urgently done to address this in order to secure the nation’s schools and chase away the kidnappers.
He however said: “As a way of addressing this dangerous trend, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps recommended the kinetic and non-kinetic approach in finding lasting solution to cases of attacks and kidnapping in schools.
Audi said the Corps also noted the need for a robust partnership/collaboration with Stakeholders such as Ministries, Governors/State Governments, Traditional Leaders, Parents, Students, the Youths, the Clergy (Religious Leaders), Law Enforcement Agencies, Private Guard Companies among others if we must ensure safety in our school environment.
Audi, who incidentally was marking the first year anniversary of his appointment as CG, said as part of the ongoing reform process aimed at improving service delivery in the Private Security Guards Industry, disclosed the Corps is presently carrying out the process of digitalization of the Private Guard Company Department for improved operational efficiency and productivity in the Private Security Industry and for administrative convenience.
He noted that the Department is also coordinating biometric data capturing of all Private Guards, while impressing on the operators to make staff welfare and training its topmost priority.
He said that: “In less than a year, the Private Guard Company Department has renewed 752 licences, sealed 81 erring companies, trained about 4,653 guards and generated about N587,923,000.00 to the coffers of Government.”
The Commandant General, said as part of the achievements of the Corps since his appointment, “in the last six months, the Corps has arrested about 461 suspects for various offences bordering; vandalization and attacks on Critical National Assets and Infrastructure (CNAI), cattle rustling, banditry, attacks on farmers and farmlands, illegal mining, etc.”
He noted that all arrested suspects are presently undergoing prosecution in various High Courts across the Country while 43 convictions have equally been secured.
He said: “In addition, well over a hundred illegal refineries have been destroyed within this period under review. The exhibits recovered in the course of these arrests are in the various exhibit yards in each State Command for presentation in evidence during trials in courts.”
He admitted that, significant strides were have made by the Corps in its effort to effectively deliver on its mandate and in addressing the growing insecurity in the country as a result of synergy with the Military and other Sister Agencies of Government.