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 Abubakar Audi said this on Monday at the opening ceremony of a three-day safe school administrators and managers’ training in Abuja.
Audi, represented by the deputy commandant general in charge of operations, Danladi Mungadi, said 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 patrols and response to distress calls from schools. He 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 ordered.
He further directed all command heads to appoint a safe school liaison officer for necessary interface with the NSSRCC. Dr Audi said that these reforms were aimed at re-strategising and repositioning the entire safe schools 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 all private and public sectors involved 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.