By Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) is a para-military institution that was established in May 1967 by the Federal Republic of Nigeria with the Act of the National Assembly. The Act was amended in 2007, to enhance the statutory duties of the corps.
The present Commandant, General (CG) of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu in spite of the daunting challenges, and the paucity of funds allocated and so many other grey areas yet untouched, the story has never been the same again.
From his plethora of achievements, he has moved to another pedestal of transforming and the re-positioning the entire corps to meet with best global practices and the protection of critical national assets across the length and breadth of the country.
Another grey area, which has become the cynosures of all eyes and the brain-child of the Federal Government in the reduction of clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the country, is the conceptualization of the Agro-Rangers initiative.
The CG, Gana Muhammadu, first of all, looked within to develop and enhance the directorate cadres of the corps by expanding it to comprise of six directorates, so as to work efficiently and effectively as in other developed climes across the globe.
The six include Directorate of Administration, Directorate of Disaster Management, Directorate of Intelligence and Investigation, Directorate of Operations, Directorate of Technical Services and lastly the Directorate of Critical Infrastructure and National Assets, which gave birth to the blue-print and needed manpower including capacity building for its core functions by dividing the country into zones for effective management from zone A to zone H unlike what was obtainable previously.
The management under Gana Muhammadu, has also taken into consideration the development of infrastructure capacity development and manpower as most officers and men attend courses and promotional examinations before moving to the next level while training of personnel has become the order of the day.
The welfare of the staff is very paramount to the CG as he is doing everything possible within his office to boost the esprit de corps already enjoyed today by the civil defence with prompt payment of salaries, allowances and other official entitlements as at when due.
The para-military agency has the interest of the Nigerian people and has greatly reduced threats and all forms of disaster incidence across the country through its professional intelligence gathering mechanism, investigations, information sharing and manpower development.
The 5,000 Agro-Rangers deployed to protect farmers and their investments from incessant attacks by bandits/criminals, including providing security to investments in the agricultural sector for both domestic and international businesses; provide physical security to the proposed 250 cattle ranches by the Federal Government is an initiative worthy to be mentioned.
According to the Acting Provost of the Katsina Institute of Disaster Management, Commandant Muhammed Abubakar on a recent visit by the Commandant General to the institute, said “that since the assumption of office of the present CG, a lot of resources has been disbursed and expended to bring the institute to its current enviable standard, and he said he wanted to use the opportunity to pledge their support, commitment and unalloyed loyalty to the management of NSCDC and the Federal Republic of Nigeria to boost the welfare and manpower development of the rank and file”.
He also uses every medium to ask the National Assembly to look into their multiplicity of responsibilities and give an increment in the budget provisions.
Other major responsibilities across the country have to do with a lot of illegal refineries that have been destroyed by officers of NSCDC in the rich Niger Delta Oil areas and also the enormous efforts put in place to arrest solid minerals thieves across the country, which also led to the creation of a new unit called the solid mineral defenders, and the stoppage of black market sales of Oil/petroleum products during scarcity by the task force put in place by the CG.
Sport is another major area where the present leadership has done extremely well. A lot of laurels and trophies have been won by men and officers of the NSCDC in all aspects of their sporting engagements, as all personnel of the corps irrespective of rank and file have been provided with insurance cover in the event of accident, death or disability in the course of duty.
Nevertheless, it was as a results of these achievements above and others too numerous to mention that the Coalition of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Good Governance in Nigeria (COCMEGG), bestowed and honored the CG with “The Most Outstanding Commandant-General Award of the Decade” recently.
On receiving the award, the CG thanked the President and Commandant-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity given him to serve, and also thanked the Honorable Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau, for his fatherly and supervisory role of propelling the needed change and the unveiling of the master-plan for the pro-active results so far achieved.
Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele is of CWAI, Abuja, Nigeria