Anti-Banditry: NSCDC Establishes Female Squad to Secure Schools
The Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defencr Corps (NSCDC), Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi had supervised the establishment of an all Female Squad purposely to secure our school environment in view of recent attacks on schools and kidnap of students by bandits.
Audi made the disclosure in his speech at the Opening Ceremony of a Sunmit on Protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure in Abuja.
Below is the full text of his speech
The theme for this summit which is “synergy: Panacea To Effective Critical Assets and Infrastructure Protection” was carefully chosen cognizant of the dangers posed to our Critical Assets in view of the prevailing security situation and the need to restrategize on how best to find lasting solution to this menace.
Critical National Assets and Infrastructure are assets, services and systems that support the economic, political and social life of a nation. They are so vital that the incapacity and or destruction of any may have a debilitating impact on security, economy, health, safety, education, food and agriculture, environment, transportation etc. You will agree with me that these are systems, assets or services which touch on the very fabrics of our existence as a Nation.
This summit therefore couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time considering the sudden upsurge in crime and threats to National Security occasioned by the criminal activities of terrorists/insurgents, vandals and oil thieves, bandits, kidnappers, ethnic militias, border clashes/boundary disputes, communal clashes, farmers/herders clashes, ethnic agitators, and sometimes violent protests such as the End-SARS protest which constitute potential threat to the Critical National Assets and Infrastructure.
A region or an entire Nation could be threatened by constant attacks as is being experienced in parts of the Country where the nefarious activities of these criminal elements have led to wanton destruction of critical assets and infrastructure in the country and its attendant loss of revenue that should have accrued to Government.
We should also not lose sight of the devastating impact of natural disasters such as floods, fire incidents, industrial accidents etc, on these Critical Assets.
Recently, the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed at town hall meetings in June and July 2021 disclosed that the federal government spends a whooping sum of N60 billion yearly to repair and maintain the vandalized oil pipelines across the country.
It was also revealed that the country loses an average of 200,000 barrels per day to the wanton damage to pipelines and other oil and gas facilities. Between January 2019 and September 2020, 1,161 pipeline points across the country were vandalized.
In a similar vein, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari explained that the Corporation lost about N51.207 billion between 2019 to May 2021. He added that from January-May 2021, NNPC pipeline segments suffered 203 pipeline breaks with a total cumulative loss of 39 million litres amounting to N5.973bn.
While the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) disclosed that Nigeria has experienced significant economic loss due to pipeline vandalism. Nigeria lost about $42 billion to crude theft as well as domestic and refined petroleum products losses between 2009 and 2018.
According to the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, the Federal Highways Infrastructure also suffered this menace which is costing government over N4 billion to repair.
It therefore behoves on us as Stakeholders to identify key Critical Infrastructure/Assets and their level of vulnerability. We should also address the potential threat to such Critical Asset and likely consequences, should that potential threat materializes. We also need to develop systems and strategies (protective measures) to avert such potential threats, taking into account existing proactive measures and identifying security gaps which will need to be addressed through Specific Protective Measures.
It is no longer news that the frequency of crime commission and level of insecurity has exposed our infrastructure/assets to dangers of attacks by criminal elements and saboteurs who are bent on frustrating Government’s efforts to foster good governance on the Nation.
For instance, Power and Telecommunication Installations have been under constant threat and attacks in the Northeast by terrorists groups, while farmlands have been devastated by constant farmers/herders clashes, flood waters and oil spillage in different parts of the Country. Also, activities of vandals and illegal bunkerers have wreaked havoc on Power and Telecommunication Installations/Facilities, Oil Pipelines, Railway Tracks, Bridge Railings, Critical Aviation Infrastructure, Gas Installations among others. Most recently, INEC Offices, Security Formations, Correctional Centres, etc, have either been attacked or under serious threat of attacks by hoodlums and criminal elements.
These assets are too invaluable to be treated with levity or less seriousness as the consequences of such act are dire, while its cumulative negative effect on peace and socio-economic development of the Nation can better be imagined. Thus, it has become expedient on the part of Security Agencies and other Critical Stakeholders to collaborate and emplace measures and strategies towards effective protection, safeguard and sustainability of these Assets and Infrastructure.
It is against this backdrop that I took it upon myself since I assumed office, to initiate regular interactions with Sister Agencies and other Critical Stakeholders to further strengthen existing Inter-Agency Relations and ensure effective synergy so as to forge a common front to address and checkmate this menace and frequency of attacks on our common wealth.
Permit me to also state that the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has continued to make tremendous efforts to fulfill its obligation as the Lead Agency in the Protection of Critical National Assets and Infrastructure through effective synergy with Sister Agencies and other critical stakeholders within available resources at its disposal. I have equally supervised the establishment of an all Female Squad purposely to secure our school environment in view of recent attacks on schools and kidnap of students by bandits.
Without sounding immodest, the Corps has been awake to its responsibilities and have delivered in the area of its mandate, intelligence gathering and information sharing.
Our efforts have been yielding fruitful results which has led to series of arrests, prosecutions and convictions. For instance, from January 2021 to date, the Corps has made 504 arrests with 463 under prosecution while 41 convictions have been secured. We can however perform better with additional funding and modern equipment support from the Government and other Critical Stakeholders.
As Security Agencies, we need to tackle the challenge of insider connivance and or sabotage (especially where movements/strategies of troops or security operatives are being furtively exposed to criminal elements) as well as negligence or dereliction of duty on the part of operatives.
The nefarious activities of these criminal elements is being strengthened not only by informants within security formations, but equally those within the society. Hence, the need to also engage our Traditional Rulers, Political Leaders, Religious Leaders, Community Leaders and Youth Leaders within the communities in the process of finding lasting solution to this menace cannot be over emphasized.
Let us all stand and raise our voice in unison to fight this noble cause. We need to deal with these outlaws who may be executing a sinister agenda to make the Country ungovernable.
Let me use this opportunity to appreciate the Honourable Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for his fatherly role and tremendous support to the success story of the Corps. Permit me to also appreciate the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, Honourable Minister, Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami and the Office of the National Security Adviser for their tremendous support for this noble cause.
Let me also appreciate the active collaboration of the University of Abuja and the International Institute for Security and Governance Studies ably represented by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah and Gen Bagudu Mamman, PhD, mni, respectively. For your information, Major General Bagudu Mamman, PhD, mni, is a great scholar and former Minister of Internal Affairs.
Ahmed Abubakar Audi
Kidnapped School ChildrenYauri FGC Students, Kebbi
344 days 4 hours 57 minutes 34 seconds,
Baptist School Students, Kaduna
326 days 6 hours 38 minutes 59 seconds
Tegina Islamiya Pupils, Niger (Freed)
Report By: PRNigeria.com