Chairman, House Committee on Interior, Hon. Umar Bature
By Senator Iroegbu and Grace Chimezie
The Federal House of Representatives has suggested merger of the National Emergency Agency (NEMA) and Federal Fire Service with the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to ensure synergy of operation, especially during emergency period.
This was stated Tuesday by the Chairman, House Committee on Interior, Hon. Umar Bature, when the committee visited the NSCDC Headquarters in Abuja on oversight function to familiarise with the activities, achievements and challenges facing the Ministry of Interior as well as agencies and parastatals under its supervision.
Bature said NSCDC had demonstrated capacity to effectively respond to emergency situation and restore civil order in times of crisis and should therefore merge with other agencies that could complement their work.
He said: “The NSCDC has shown through demonstration that they have the capacity, so it would be a great idea if NEMA and the Fire Service would be under one body, this would also reduce the cost of governance which has been advocated by this present administration to help improve development. I also appreciate that the NSCDC has grown strongly.”
Earlier, the Commandant General of NSCDC, Dr. Ade Abolurin, said due to the upsurge in terrorism and internal security threats, the Corps is increasing manpower development and capacity building especially in terms of surveillance and intelligence.
Abolurin also said as a response to the security situation, they have trained about 1,200 Armed Squad as well re-invigorated its quick response team in emergency situations and for disaster management.
He said: “With terrorism assuming a very dangerous dimension in the country the Corps is therefore taking proactive steps to ensure that the violent activities of these terrorist groups are reduced to the barest minimum, part of the steps which we have already taken which includes strengthening our surveillance and intelligence gathering mechanism, staff training and retraining”.
“However our effort are being hampered by shortage of funds, but we are doing our best within available resources at our disposal”.