Thursday, July 10, 2014

Reps Probe Failed $470m CCTV Projects in Major Cities

The House of Representatives on Wednesday ordered an investigation into the alleged failure of the Video Surveillance and Closed Circuit Television projects of the Federal Government.
Reps Probe Failed $470m CCTV Projects in Major Cities
Nigeria House of Representatives.
The contract for the projects, known as Public Security Communications System, was awarded in the “early part” of the administration of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in the initial sum of $470m under a finance agreement between the government and the China Export Bank. The contract was awarded to ZTE Nigeria Limited.

In a resolution in Abuja, the House observed that though the projects had been completed and handed over to the government since 2012, “no criminal activity has ever been detected through the security cameras.”

The CCTV can produce images or recordings for surveillance purposes, and can be either video, digital or still recording. In most modern cities, the cameras are deployed in strategic locations to detect crimes and criminal activities.

The resolution followed a motion moved by a member from Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Saviour Friday-Udoh, who complained that the purpose of installing the CCTV had been defeated if they failed in detecting crime.

He informed the House that the CCTV system was installed in major cities, including Abuja and Lagos. He recalled that there were other contracts to install 2,000 digital solar-powered cameras, 1,000 each in Abuja and Lagos.

Friday-Udoh said the contracts also included the installation of 37 switch rooms; MW backbones; 37 Coalition Emergency Response System; 38 Video Conference Subsystem; 37 E-Police System; six Emergency Communication Vehicles; and 1.5 million subscriber lines.

The lawmaker noted that after spending such a huge amount in a bid to contain the wave of insecurity in the country, the cameras had remained useless almost two years into the completion of the projects.

His prayer, which the House unanimously endorsed, read,
“Mandate the Committees on ICT, Public Safety and National Security to investigate the failure of the Video Surveillance and Close Circuit Television to detect criminal activities in Nigeria’s cities and report back to the House within two weeks.”

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