The first official record of the Red Cross in Nigeria dates back to 1917 when a fund raising activity was held in aid of Nigerian soldiers who fought on the side of the allies during World War I.
The Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) was established through an Act of the Parliament in 1960. The Act, referred to as the Nigerian Red Cross Act of 1960, CAP 324 states in Section 5 (1) that ‘the Society shall be recognised by the Government of the Federation as a Voluntary Aid Society, auxiliary to the public authorities…’ This shows that we are a creation of the Federal Government of Nigeria and statutorily meant to complement public authorities in the area of humanitarian interventions. Our mandate is derived from the aforementioned Act of Parliament and the Geneva Conventions of which Nigeria is a state party.
The Nigerian Red Cross Society, having been recognised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was in 1961 admitted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society (IFRC) as the 86th National Society.We are not an NGO as some believe. We are in fact, a Non Governmental Humanitarian Agency (NGHA), the only one in that category in every country of the world.
Our strength lies in our geographical spread and professionalism in the area of first aid training, emergency preparedness and response and disaster risk reduction.
With over 350,000 well-trained volunteers in all the 36 states Branches and the Federal Capital Territory, the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) usually turned out to be the foremost responders to emergencies.