Insecurity: 200 Lagos State CCTV Monitors Rust Away
The Lagos State Government’s N600million Close Circuit Televisions (CCTVs) computer monitors at the operational/control room office, located at the Lagos State Police Command, in Ikeja GRA, are rusting away. This is even as the over 50 installed surveillance cameras scattered at strategic parts of the state are also dead.
A top Police source at the Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, told our correspondent that the State is “porous” and can be easily accessed by persons of devilish intention.
The senior Police officer who was among those trained by experts on the bill of the state government through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund, launched in 2012 told our correspondent in Lagos on Sunday that the CCTVs in Lagos State are no longer functioning.
“They stopped working since middle of 2013 till now. All the Police personnel seconded by Police authority in the state for the project have all abandoned the office. If you go to that office now, the 200 computer monitors, decoders and printers are gathering dust there.”
Asked why such situation, the officer said, “who want to work there. No incentive, no allowance. Initially the plan was that any officer seconded there would be paid N20,000.00 as allowance every month, but they just muddled up everything, so those officers have left the place.”
He said nobody cares about the security of lives and property in Lagos State.” The problem here is that there is insecurity in the whole of Nigeria today and we are all witnesses. Lagos is vulnerable as I speak to you. If anybody wants to launch any attack here, it would probably be the easiest.”
The source added that, when the project was launched, “we were able to stay here (Lagos Police Command Headquarters) and monitor Oshodi, Apapa, Epe, Ikorodu, in fact every part of Lagos State. We were able to connect Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano within a minute with just a touch of a button but today all that is gone.”
He added that all the cameras on Lagos Streets were mere decorations presently as none of them could be monitored from here. “Not that the equipment are not there, but they cannot operate themselves.”
Minister of Police Affairs, Mr Humphrey Enemakwu Abah, during the launch of the Digital Security surveillance at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters, Ikeja, explained that the project worth over N600 million, was part of the Federal Government’s ‘Safe City’ initiative in four metropolitan cities of which Lagos is part of.
Through the implementation of the project, the minister said that the Nigeria Police 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.
“The Digital Security System 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 , Lagos , Port Harcourt and Yenagoa.
“ Interestingly, the Federal Government, under its National Public Security Communication System (NPSCS) project, was also thinking along the same line, making war against crime in Lagos a total one and giving hope of responsible governance to the people.
” Even before Lagos State government could roll out its CCTV cameras, the Federal Government had installed 906 units of the system in strategic locations, to complement the 1000 units which it earlier installed in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. “Even those earlier installed in Abuja are no longer working”, our source said.
The contract was executed by a Chinese Communication firm – ZTE – at the cost of $470million (N76billion).The development was applauded by Lagos State government, which, at a stage, rose in defence of the Federal Government, to dispel the rumour that the Federal Government had abandoned the project midway. The rumour came on the heels of yet another unconfirmed report credited to Fashola who was alleged to have lamented that the CCTV project had run into crisis.