The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)’s Agro Rangers in the Northeastern states of Nigeria have received training and working tools to help them effectively carry out their responsibilities in the region.
The Commandant-General of the NSCDC, Ahmed Abubakar Audi, disclosed this during a press briefing in Abuja on Friday on the first Civil Defence Security Empowerment Workshop 2021 for NSCDC personnel in the Northeast held from 11th – 13th June.
The Commandant-General, represented by Zachari Ibrahim Ningi, Deputy Commandant General, Administration, said the equipment included 230 bulletproof vests and helmets donated by the North East Development Commission (NEDC).
While appreciating the Commission for the gesture, he called on other organisations to support the corps to do their job better.
He said the impacts of the Agro Rangers could not be overemphasised as a recent survey conducted in the Northeast showed that farmers had returned to their farms without fears, adding that they had a bumper harvest in the last farming season.
Audi, however, said several challenges facing the NSCDC had reduced its ability to effectively carry out its responsibilities.
“Just as we have our achievements, we also have the challenges.
“We don’t have enough personnel. We have just around 5000 Agro Rangers across the country which is not enough to protect the farmers and herders as they go about their businesses.
“The government is trying to address this problem by recruiting more personnel but the process is still ongoing.
“Also, we have equipment challenge and that is why we are calling on other organisations to emulate the NEDC by donating equipment to the NSCDC,” he said.
A total of 200 NSCDC personnel took part in the three-day training exercise.
Speaking about the training exercise, the Lead Consultant of Natos Affair, Tony Nwaru, said the objective was to build the capacity of NSCDC personnel for optimal performance.
He said more attention was given to the use of technologies to improve their performance as well as surveillance and intelligence gathering.
Nwaru said the training exercise would be replicated in other regions of the country.
On his part, Natos Affairs’ Associate Consultant, Mr Kelechi Iwu, disclosed the plan to build observation towers for the corps in the Northeast to aid their surveillance and intelligence gathering functions.