From Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)’s Agro Rangers’ productivity has been slowed down due to several challenges confronting the unit, notwithstanding its marked performance.
To buttress the assertion of improved performance, a recent survey conducted in the Northeast showed that many farmers had returned to their farms without fears, and they had a bumper harvest in the last farming season.
The Commandant-General of the NSCDC, Ahmed Abubakar Audi, disclosed this in Abuja over the weekend at the first Civil Defence Security Empowerment Workshop 2021 for personnel of the Corps in the Northeast.
The Commandant-General, represented by Zachari Ibrahim Ningi, Deputy Commandant General, Administration, said
the impacts of the Agro Rangers were tremendous “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”.
However, Audi pointed out that several challenges facing the NSCDC had reduced its ability to effectively carry out its responsibilities.
He said: “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”.
He commended the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) for donating equipment, which included 230 bulletproof vests and helmets to the NSCDC’s Agro Rangers and urged other organisations to emulate the NEDC’s gesture through training and working tools to help them effectively carry out their responsibilities in the region.
“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”, Audi said.
On why the NEDC embarked on 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.
According to him, more attention was given to the use of technologies to improve their performance as well as surveillance and intelligence gathering, and pointed out that the training exercise would be replicated in other regions of the country.
The Natos Affairs’ Associate Consultant, Mr Kelechi Iwu, while speaking disclosed that plans are in the offing to build observation towers for the Corps in the Northeast to aid their surveillance and intelligence gathering functions.
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