The American Embassy on Wednesday said it would continue to partner with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to protect the country’s critical national assets and infrastructure.
Mr Micheal Bonner, the Senior Police Advisor to the American Embassy, disclosed this during an NSCDC Workshop on Critical Infrstructure, Security and Resilience held on Thursday in Abuja.
The one-day workshop themed: “Enhancing the Capacity to protect Critical National Assets and Infrastructure”, was aimed at boosting the capacity of the corps’ personnel on modern ways of identifying threats and protecting the country’s infrastructure.
Bonner said the American Embassy would continue to partner with the corps, adding that the personnel of the corps must take seriously the security and safety training offered by the embassy as they rendered valuable assistance.
“Knowing the corps mandate, we are stepping up to ensure we provide you with as much assistance as possible.
“The American Embassy will continue to partner with NSCDC because we have realised the impact we can offer,” he said.
He charged the corps to be proactive in the protection of the nation’s critical infrastructure by conducting threat assessment, giving reports and making sure that those agencies responsible for maintaining those infrastructure corrected those threats discovered.
The NSCDC Commandant-General, Abdullahi Muhammadu, charged personnel of the corps not to regard the workshop as ‘business as usual’ but that it had been designed to increase the corps’ capacity and efficiency.
“The emphasis of this workshop would be placed on prevention of vandalism rather than responding after the incidences have occurred.
“We must be proactive and up our surveillance and intelligence gathering efforts around these assets and infrastructure in order to achieve a common goal,” Muhammadu said.
He charged the State Commandants to ensure that vandalism of any shade was highly minimised within and around their areas of jurisdiction during their watch, thereby leaving a sterling record for themselves and the corps.
“I wish to re-awaken your consciousness to the fact that you are the face and principal image makers of the corps in your various zones and states.
“Your actions or inactions and those of your subordinates would determine how the public perceive and relate with the corps,” he said.
He urged the participants to be mentally alert, listen with rapt attention and actively participate in the interactive session, so as to fully imbibe the training and apply the skills to their duties.
Jonathan Iyogho, Assistant Commandant-General for Critical Infrastructure, noted that the American Embassy had earlier trained some officers of the Corps.
Iyogho said that the Embassy in its wisdom decided to extend the training to those in the field, State Commandants, States and Zonal Desk Officers.
“They having this training will enhance their work capability in protecting their locations.
“After this training, there will be another workshop where we will have a review of what had been impacted and that will determine the next level of training that will be conducted,” he said.