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Benue Committed to the safe schools policy, says Alia as NSCDC trains 300 officers



From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi

As the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), commences its 5-day training for officers to provide special security for schools across the North Central states of the country, Benue state, Governor Hyacinth Alia has said that his administration is committed to the safe schools policy.

The capacity building programme for safe schools response team with the theme “Exercise Safe Schools 2023” commenced on Monday in Makurdi, with 300 officer being trained.

Speaking at the opening event, Governor Alia who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Professor Joseph Alakali said a survey had already been conducted and 28 schools were mapped out for safety coverage in Benue.

He promised that the state government would collaborate with the NSCDC to ensure security for schools and their host communities in order to guarantee seamless learning process in the state.

Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Education, Rev. Frederick Ikyaan appreciated NSCDC for choosing Benue for the training pledging that Benue government would partner with the National Safe Schools Response Coordination Centre (NSSRCC) to ensure safety of students in their various places of learning.

Earlier, the Benue Commandant of NSCDC, Yakubu Ibrahim said the programme was aimed at providing security for schools and their host communities.

The commandant noted with sadness that many schools in the North Central states were vulnerable to attacks by bandits and terrorists due to lack of perimeter fencing and physical security presence.

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He further lamented that those with physical security presence employed untrained personnel saying that was the major reason for the training exercise for NSCDC officers to enable them provide security for the identified schools.

He stated that the workshop will provide participants with the necessary skills to tackle security challenges in schools and their host communities.

The Commandant who appreciated Governor Hyacinth Alia for his support of the programme, and a promised of counterpart funding, enjoined the selected officers to take the training seriously, saying security of school environment was key as education is the bedrock of development.

“You who are the lucky few selected for this training must stay focused because you will have to keep education place conducive and safe for learning as there is no development without education,” he said.

The Commander of NSSRCC, Mr Tersoo Shaapera said the strategic objective of the safe schools programme could only be achieved with intentional work and support at all levels.

Shaapera called on all stakeholders to cooperate with security agencies as they strive to protect schools, learners, teachers, non-teachers and host communities from attacks.

He tasked participants on collaboration with sister agencies after their training to enable them succeed in their tasks, saying lack of synergy would amount to wasted efforts.

Participants to the training were drawn from Commands in all the states in the North Central including Taraba state and the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT).

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