The inspector general of police has launched Schools Protection Squad (SPS), a Police formation dedicated to securing Nigeria schools.
Acting inspector-general of police, IGP Olukayode Egbetokun announced the establishment of the SPS.
He noted that the squad is a proactive initiative aimed at enhancing security and safety in educational institutions across Nigeria.
IGP said: “Force PRO ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi tells me the Schools Protection Squad is a specialised unit within the Nigeria Police Force tasked with drawing up policies and engaging relevant stakeholders to ensure the safety and protection of students, teachers and school infrastructure.
The squad will be equipped with relevant assets and advanced training to effectively respond to security challenges facing educational institutions.”
The federal government had in December 2022 launched N144.8 billion Safe Schools Financing Plan, with a view to protecting schools from terrorist attacks, across the nation.
The then minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, tells me that the plan would be implemented between 2023 and 2026.She says that the plan was developed through rigorous consultative strategic engagements with all relevant critical stakeholders in the education and security sectors, at national and sub-national levels such as the Federal Ministry of Education; Nigeria Police Force; Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC); Department of State Security (DSS); Defence Headquarters (Army, Navy and Air Force).
The minister says further that inputs were also received from the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory ministries of Education; Finance and Budget, development partners; donor agencies and civil society organisations, on how best to ensure that the education of children was not disrupted by activities of terrorists and other criminals. However, lack of release of funds has hampered the commencement of the initiative.
In February 2023, the federal government said that it will ensure the prompt release of funds for the financing of the National Safe Schools Initiative, to ensure that children are able to go to school without fear of kidnappings or abductions for ransom.