Nigeria: Police - Going Digital for Better Security


Recently, a new dimension to crime fighting and control came into being with the commissioning of the Integrated Digital Security Surveillance System Project of the Nigeria Police Force in Lagos State.

On hand to commission the project was the former Minister of Police Affairs, Humphrey Enemakwu Abah, Inspector-General Police, Hafiz Abubakar Ringim, the Governor of Lagos State Babatunde Raji Fashola, who was represented by his special adviser on security, Major Tunde Panox (Rtd), Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), in of Zone Two, (Lagos and Ogun States), AIG Suleiman Fakai and a host of others.

"The ceremony today, is particularly a milestone as it climaxes a period of my committed service to our fatherland in my capacity as the Minister of Police Affairs. It is indeed a great privilege to note that within a space of six months in the Ministry, the commissioning being undertaken today is the third in the series of the commissioning of landmark projects for the Force…There was also the commissioning of 500 patrol vans in April, 2011, as well as the flag off of the implementation of a digital trunking communication network for the NPF," he explained.

He however noted that through the implementation of the projects, the force was being provided with a technology-driven capacity to maintain real-time surveillance of public facilities and infrastructure in order to fight crime and criminality in various metropolis.

Other advantages the minister enumerated to by achieved with the new introduction, was to also provide the Force with the ability to communicate and coordinate promptly with its personnel on patrol and beat duties for effective crime prevention and control.

"This Digital Security System to be commissioned today is a state of the art technology for ensuring real-time surveillance, especially in those areas that could be perilous to security personnel. Under this project, a total of 121 dome-shaped digital surveillance security cameras have been installed in Abuja (35Nos.), Lagos (36Nos.), Port Harcourt (25Nos.) and Yenagoa (25Nos.). The cameras will capture and transmit images and data by wide area network via canopy wireless technology solutions which ensured clarity of images for ease of recognition to digital video recorder for continuous recording and fast retrieval capability for the monitoring and detection of moving objects and persons."

He further explained that the cameras were provided with solar-powered panels to ensure uninterrupted surveillance coverage. "Amongst its other security features, it is hardwired with protective devices and alarm systems to deter vandals. The Minister added that in order to ensure communication with personnel on patrol, 12 vehicles were provided with automatic locator systems that would facilitate the issuance of appropriate directive for immediate response.

In a marked departure from previous initiatives, a three-year operation and maintenance agreement was entered into with the company that installed the system, Telemobile Nig, Ltd, he said.

The service, he maintained, made substantial arrangement for the training and building of the capacity of the personnel of the NPF that would operate and maintain the system in order to lengthen its operational life span and ensure ownership.

Also in line with the policy of the Federal Government to support the development of local capacities, contracts for the project, he said, was awarded to the company in 2009 at the cost of N694million. "The project was completed in November, 2010 in Lagos. Suffice it to mention that the implementation of the project suffered some setbacks largely due to resistance by some individuals and corporate bodies to grant access to their properties for the installation of the project in spite of its manifest benefits to the individual and its immediate environment." Abah seized the opportunity to appeal to fellow citizens to show understanding and support for public projects whenever they were called upon to do so.

He equally expressed sincere gratitude to individuals and corporate organisations that allowed the use of their premises for the installation of the gadgets adding that in due course, under the on-going Reform Programme of Nigeria Police Force, government would be providing additional 1,000 digital camera points in Lagos.

Stressing that the efforts were a practical demonstration of the commitments of the present regime to protecting the lives and property of all citizens across the country, he said Nigerians should also reciprocate by giving their full support for its success.

Ringim, who also expressed delight that the project was kicking off eventually in realisation of government efforts to improve the capacity of the Force in executing its responsibility of providing security for lives and properties, said that the project was indeed part of the 'Safe City' initiative of the Federal Government. The installations, according to him, would be monitored through a control centre in Abuja, Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Yenagoa.

According to the police boss, the project "is now ready for use and will be utilized to the fullest in the fight against crime.

"I am confident that the new system will confer great advantages on police operations in the cities where they are deployed. I therefore look forward to a gradual expansion of the Safe City project beyond the four pilot states for a robust and enhanced intelligence based policing."