By Bukar Bolori
The Commandant General (CG) of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, mni, OFR, has expressed willingness to work collaboratively with local and international partners to enhance effective and successful implementation of the Safe Schools programme in Nigeria.
The CG stated this during a working visit of the Head of Advocacy and Campaigns Impact, Accountability and Learning, Save the Children Ankara Turkey, Mr Vahit Kutluer, to the National Safe Schools Response Coordination Centre (NSSRCC), at the NSCDC National Headquarters, Abuja.
Represented by the Commander of the Centre, CSC Tersoo Shaapera, PhD, the CG said he was delighted with the contributions of Save the Children International (SCI) for its role in sponsoring efforts aimed at protecting children globally and stressed that the centre welcomes partnership from local and international stakeholders like the SCI.
“With the establishment of the centre, schools have been securitised, thus placing high premium on the protection of students, teachers, workers and communities”, the CG said.
He announced the determination of the Corps to synergise with other security agencies and critical stakeholders in ensuring maximum success of the programme.
The CG explained that, prior to the implementation of the Safe Schools programme, a national vulnerability survey was carried out by the NSCDC on schools in the country, which provided background for implementation and official launch of the centre on July 13, 2023.
According to him, the centre was established to be proactive rather than being reactive in its operations and so far, over 37 attacks have been prevented on schools across the country.
The Head of Advocacy and Campaigns Impact, Accountability and Learning from Save the Children Ankara Turkey, Vahit Kutluer, in his speech, explained that the visit to the NSSRCC provided him an opportunity to ascertain areas of possible collaboration with the centre.
He expressed delight with the information gathered at centre and assured that Save the Children International (SCI) could support the centre in areas of need, having understudied the implementation of Safe Schools Declaration in Nigeria.
An education specialist, Safe School (UNICEF), Mr Believe Eke, who was part of the delegation, in his remark said that he was pleased with his experience at the centre, noting that UNICEF will also collaborate with the centre to harmonise its work with the Ministry of Education.
He extended invitation to the centre to participate in the forthcoming seminar organised at the instance of United Nations in Abuja, to provide the global body the opportunity to underscore the implementation of the safe schools program so far.
Also in the entourage was Mr Badar Musa of Save the Children International, Nigeria office, a leading global independent organization working for the rights and welfare of children for over 10 decades.