By Jefferson Okeke
The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, has closed over 80 erring private guard companies in the past two years, while over N700 million was realised from licensing and renewal fees from other registered companies.
In the same vein, no fewer than 3,000 armed personnel of the corps have been trained to check the incessant herdsmen and farmers clashes and provide security for ranches, when established in the country.
Disclosing this in Abuja recently, to mark the two years tenure of Abdullahi Gana, Commandant General of the Corps, his Media Assistant, Soji Alabi, said a memorandum of understanding was made with the Minister of Agriculture which led to the establishment of Agro Ranger Unit, preparatory to the establishment of cattle ranches all over the country to check the clashes.
According to him, the flagship exercise for the takeoff of the operation of the unit took place recently and officers have already being deployed to carry out the task.
He continued: “The engagement of the corps in partnership with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has led to the contribution of the armed personnel to secure NIMASA facilities, while providing round-the-clock security in conjunction with the Nigeria Navy on Nigerian waterways, to checkmate the menace of piracy, oil theft and illegal bunkering.
“Likewise, the Ministry of Power and other operators in the power sector have also benefited from the effective policing of their infrastructure by the Corps Special Weapon Tactics Unit, SWAT.”
“Within two years of Gana’s administration, exceptional landmark achievements were recorded in the fight against pipeline vandalism, oil theft and adulteration of petroleum products through the collaborative efforts between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and the corps as grassroots paramilitary organisation.”
He continued; “The operation of the NSCDC Anti Vandal squad has also reduced the capacity of the militants who specialize in the bombing of oil installations and facilities. Notably was the arrest in June 2017 of the mastermind of Agip Oil Company pipeline explosion in Bayelsa state, one Suoyo Dickson, that almost crippled the economy of the nation. The collaborative efforts of the corps with the Nigerian Navy in the Operation Delta Safe have led to the seizure and destruction of vehicles, materials and logistics including barges used by vandals as well as the destruction of vehicles, materials and logistics including barges used by vandals.”
On private guard security companies, he said “In line with the Federal Government policy on the establishment of private guard companies, the corps has been mandated to register, train, license and monitor the activities of the companies as a way of removing quackery and ensure professionalism the sector. As a critical stakeholder in disaster prevention, mitigation and management, the corps under the table leadership of Abdullahi Gana Mohammadu deployed over 5,000 personnel to the North-east to protect the IDP camps, and to re-occupy the re-claimed towns and villages by the military, in line with the corps statutory mandate on disaster management.
“ The department has also been re-invigorated to enhance quick response in emergency situations by establishing Emergency response units at all the major airports across the country and has also stationed emergency response ambulances along major routes in the country for quick response in emergency situations. “Also, within the two years of Gana’s administration, the corps has maintained a tremendous working relationship with the military in the fight against insurgency in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria. Bomb manufacturing factories were discovered by the corps in two abandoned houses. Some IEDs making equipment, gas cylinders and a jet bomb propeller including 114 live machine gun ammunition, to mention but few, were discovered and handed over to the military.”