The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on Tuesday in Abuja organised a sensitisation training for its management staff on risks of kidnapping, hostage taking and other security drills.
The Head of Special Duties Department, Mrs Nadia Soso-Muhammed, in her address said the training became necessary due to the activities of the ministry in different parts of the country where the staff are exposed to dangers of insecurity.
She said that in recent times, Nigeria had witnessed an upsurge in kidnapping with reports of several citizens abducted for ransom by bandits and terrorists.
According to her, security analysts state that abductions have become a thriving industry for criminals.
“The training for officers on GL 15 to 17 is aimed at providing the necessary orientation tools to ensure the safety and protection of the management staff of the ministry.
“Nigeria is currently facing numerous security challenges and these threats have gravely undermined its economic development, social progress, political stability, national and human security, as well as peaceful coexistence in country.
“It is a fact that insecurity in Nigeria continues to restrict access to basic services, and both displaced people and vulnerable host communities require emergency support and other necessary humanitarian assistance.
“To this end, the ministry, whose mandate is to provide assistance for the vulnerable groups in Nigeria, no matter the situation, has to find a way to provide this succor to the affected people.
“Hence this training becomes very significant to the staff of the ministry whose duty is to cater to vulnerable people,” Soso-Muhammed said.
She further explained that the staff attract much attention while discharging their duties in the field, hence, exposing themselves and their families to the threat of kidnapping.
“Another objective of this sensitisation lecture is to minimise potential and foreseeable security dangers and proffer possible ways of executing those programmes safely.
“More so, the Federal Government has recognised the gravity of challenges that insecurity has posed to national progress and economic development, etc.
“And it has articulated a broad policy framework through the office of the National Security Adviser to provide direction, coordination, and sensitisation on various initiatives to tackle the menace of insecurity in the country.
“It is my sincere hope that this
important security lecture would bolster staff personal security awareness as well as improve their safety proficiency while carrying out their assignment,” Soso-Muhammed said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Soso-Muhammed was represented at the event by an Assistant Director in the Department of Special Needs, Mrs Dinatu Wuyah.
NAN also reports that one of the facilitators, retired Wing Comdr. Musa Salmanu, delivered a lecture on “Hostage Taking and Kidnapping and Negotiations on Ransom payment/delivery.”
Also, while Mrs Lucy Samson made a presentation on Document Security, Mrs Iye Mengset lectured on Personal Security and Dr Uzo Okere lectured on Medical Security.
Meanwhile, in his closing remark, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Humanitarian Affairs and Development Partners, Musa Bungudu, commended the ministry and facilitators for effectively delivery.
Bungudu suggested that the training should also be extended to the unior staff in the ministry, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and all other relevant stakeholders in the humanitarian affairs sector.
“This training is so important that we need more than one day to get quality delivery from facilitators. This will make us to lean more and better.
“Also, every directorate, department and agency under the ministry should be provided with response kits, because sometimes humanitarian emergency may happen when we least expect.
“We should also avoid show-off of fancy cars, cloths and way of life. This may make us targets of kidnappers,” Bungudu said.
NAN reports that officers on Grade Level 15 to 17 attended the one-day sensitisation lecturer. (NAN)