The Nigerian security agencies have been commended for their role in the implementation of safe school initiative and in reducing attacks on schools in the country.
Rtd. Maj.-Gen. Matthias Efeovbokhan, Coordinating Consultant, Safe School Empowerment Project, gave the commendation in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.
Efeovbokhan said the Nigeria Army, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Corps and National Emergency Management Agency have been working together to ensure safety in schools.
He maintained that they have been working together in the best tradition of multi-stakeholder collaboration to provide updates on safe school preventive, precautionary and protective best practices.
He said the security agencies have been assisting to enhance the capacity of educational stakeholders toward development and implementation of safe school best practices, protocols and measures.
According to him, stakeholders across the country are convinced that without the sustained collaborative effort of security agencies, attacks on schools and consequential casualties would have been worse.
“The focus of security agencies in this year’s consultative conference, scheduled to hold in Abuja from Sept. 10 to 12, is on lessons learned from recent attacks on educational institutions around the world.
“The annual confab is organised by Safe School Academy International as a component of Safe School Empowerment Project launched in 2014.
“The confab is of strategic importance for educational institutions for good reasons.
“Various reports confirm that schools have become targets of choice for terrorists, insurgents, militants, kidnappers, cultists, robbers and other criminals and that the attacks are on the increase,” he said.
Efeovbokhan said a report released by UNICEF on Aug.21 verified that 396 schools were under attack in African and Middle East countries.
He added that in Nigeria, terrorists, kidnappers, bandits and robbers continued to target schools.
Efeovbokhan said this year’s edition of the conference would feature the commencement of the nationwide distribution of Safe School Compliance Guide produced to assist parents, regulators, proprietors and administrators of educational institutions.
He added that it would also help to objectively assess the level of protective, preventive, precautionary and mitigation best practices, protocol and measures against security risks, threats and vulnerabilities in their institutions.