BY Adelani Adepegba
The Federal Government has said the plan to resuscitate the abandoned $470 million National Public Security Communication System was in high gear in response to the security challenges facing the country.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, said technicians were already inspecting the vandalised Abuja and Lagos Closed Circuit Television Cameras for repairs, adding that they were expected to present a report on their assessment soon.
The contract for the CCTV project was awarded in 2010 to a Chinese firm, ZTE Nigeria Ltd., to provide audio, video and data information for use by the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies.
The contract provided for installation of five components, including the video surveillance system and comprehensive, reliable, and robust public security communication technology, but the project was abandoned in 2011 while the installations were vandalised.
But speaking in Abuja on Friday on the achievements of the ministry of police affairs during his first anniversary in office, Dingyadi explained that a memo would be presented to the Federal Executive Council on the revival of the project.
He explained that the security forces were already deploying technology such as CCTV, drones and other gadgets to track down criminals, adding that the nationwide CCTV project was being reactivated to further enhance the efficiency of the security agencies.
The minister argued that technology was paramount in crime prevention and detection, noting that the security agencies were using what they have for now.
Dingyadi stated, “Talking about the CCTV, the Federal Government, Mr President, is fully committed to resuscitating all ongoing and abandoned projects. This (CCTV) is one of the projects that we inherited that was abandoned in 2011 and the government working to resuscitate it.
“We have also commissioned technicians who are checking all the installations throughout the country. A memo would be presented to the Federal Executive Council for consideration for the revival of the project.”
He further noted, “Technology is paramount in fighting crime. If you go to some countries, you won’t see policemen on the streets because of the cameras everywhere. We are planning to have such things on the ground, but at the moment, we are using what we have.”
The minister listed various policies, programmes and projects executed by the ministry under his leadership, which he said had further enhanced police effectiveness leading to a reduction in crime.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, said policemen were already wearing body cameras to record their operations and other engagements with the public.