Insecurity: FG planning digital alert ID-Cards for school children
The Federal Government is planning to introduce electronic identity cards with chip card technology in schools, to curtail the menacing spate of abduction of school children in the country.
The National Coordinator (Financing) of the Safe Schools Project, Hajia Halima Ibrahim, made this known on Inside Sources with Laolu Akande aired on Channels Television on Friday. Ibrahim was the second guest for the week’s edition.
She said the initiative will enable school children in danger to be able to alert the Safe School Response Centre domiciled at the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) office in Abuja. She also said ultimately such Response Centres would be set up across the country.
She said the security schools and pupils is everybody’s business and should take an all-society approach.
According to the official, stakeholders from relevant government agencies were pulled out as members of the working group for the Safe Schools Plan. The members include the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the Department of State Services, the Defence, NSCDC, and Ministries of Education at the central and states.
“We have to be innovative; we have to think outside the box. The government cannot do everything for us. We have to also contribute our quota,” Ibrahim stated.
“As it is mandatory for students to carry identity cards in schools, we could have chips on the ID cards. This is digital age. If you see something, you say something. You can just press your ID card and it signals the response centre. We have security agents that are manning those centres. There are response agencies and protective agencies. So, they know who to call when these calls come in for quick options.
“Private schools can do that for their students while the government can partner with the private sector to do this for public school students.
She said the innovation will make all students in the over 160,000 schools in the country to be able to alert security agents via the response centres, adding that governors of Benue, Plateau, Bauchi and others have made commitments in the 2024 budget towards this initiative.
The Host, Akande also noted that when the Digital Alert ID-Cards are issued to school children across the country that would be game-changer.
The abduction of school children in Nigeria has reached an alarming rate with insurgents profiting from the menace as they collect ransom to the tune of hundreds of millions to release abducted children.
Recently, some pupils and staff members of Apostolic Faith School in Ekiti State were abducted on January 29, 2024, from their school bus. They were heading to Emure-Ekiti when assailants intercepted them at Eporo-Ekiti. They later regained freedom about a week later while the driver of the bus was found dead.
The abduction of the Ekiti pupils was not the first in the series of kidnappings of school children in the country. From Chibok to Dapchi, Kankara, Kagara, and many others in Kaduna, terrorists have in the last years seized thousands of school children in mass kidnappings that attracted global outrage. While some of the students eventually regain freedom, others have been perpetually detained in the enclaves of their abductors and sexual abusers.