By Yusuf Adua
A civil society group, Network for Democracy and Development, NDD, has advocated for a well-coordinated phased resumption plan in a way that would prevent overcrowding in the Nigerian institutions as against a loose system set to take effect from tomorrow January 18.
NDD made this call at a virtual press conference which had Tajudeen Alabede, National Coordinator and Dr. Abdul-Wasi B. Moshood, Director of Public Affairs and a host of Media personalities including NewsLive’s Bukola Hameed, in attendance on Sunday.
NDD believes that It is discomforting that the government has not gone beyond merely issuing statements encouraging schools to observe COVID-19 protocols when they resume , therefore, government at all levels should regard COVID-19 as a national emergency which would demand that affected sectors are provided with all the necessary support that they need to cope with the impact of the pandemic which is seemingly lacking in the government’s attitude towards school reopening.
“In the minimum, government should consider providing facilities for virtual classes, deploying health and security personnel to schools to handle emergencies, providing hand sanitisers and masks to students and staff, providing testing facilities for compulsory testing of all students and staff and setting up isolation centres in all local governments.”
Commending the University of Ilorin which put in place an ideal school reopening protocol, NDD contends that the education sector embraces the largest percentage of citizens and so it is the most hit sector by COVID, thus, the consequences of poorly regulated resumption plans amidst the rising cases of COVID-19 may be catastrophic to the nation.
” On Insecurity eating up the country, NDD singles out one of the recent positive developments in the area and appreciates the coordinated effort between the governments of the affected states and federal security and agencies that led to the release of the abducted students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State
NDD, while commending the government for this feat, appeals for greater coordination among the agencies of government to ensure improved security for the citizenry and an improved security framework.
NDD advocated fashioning out of a comprehensive National Homeland Security Strategy to prevent counter productivity of security outfits created by states and local governments.
He noted that the pragmatic National Homeland Security Strategy would ensure devolution of more responsibilities to States, strengthening of community policing and help achieve greater national security in a well-regulated environment.
“NDD notes that the increased cases of criminal activities across the country have led to a proliferation of security outfits. Many State Governments and local communities have set up security outfits to complement the effort of federal agencies. While the precarious situation demands that all hands must be on deck, the proliferation, without adequate coordination, could be counter-productive in the long run”.
“Government should also invest more in intelligence gathering, motivation and proper welfare for security personnel and ensure that the equipment needed to properly combat the nation’s multi-faceted security challenges are provided”.
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