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Plans by Lagos to install 13,000 CCTVs raise questions on existing ones

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Few days after the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) hinted its readiness install 13,000 Closed Circuit Television cameras at major flashpoints across the state to boost its operations; experts in the business have raised concern over the multibillion naira CCTV installation few years ago.

It would be recalled that at the wake of incessant attacks by insurgents especially in Abuja, the federal government ordered the installation of the devices across the federal capital territory and latter extended the infrastructure to Lagos because of its status as the nation’s commercial hub.

But for more than four years after the installation, no data had been generated by the supposed central management unit located somewhere in Ikeja, thus cashing doubts if the project was really intended to fail on delivery so that another fund will be made available for another round of CCTV installation as being planned by LASEMA.

In an interview, a systems consultant who pleaded anonymity queried the rationale considered by the Lagos State government in thinking of installing new CCTV when there are existing ones that are designed to service the state.

The expert expressed worry on the inability of the state government to find out first the cause of the failure of the existing ones before planning to fix another set of CCTV with scarce public fund.

According to him, “the CCTV project in Lagos was fraught with irregularities and implemented with obsolete technologies and that is why it never worked for one day”.

Continuing, he argued that “if the reasons that collapsed the first scheme were not identified and corrected, the plans of LASEMA will fall the same fate of the initial scheme”.

A statement issued by Adebayo Kehinde, LASEMA’s head of Public Affairs Unit two days ago explained that the move is part of efforts by the state government to improve the impact of emergency and disaster management in the state through effective and efficient response system.

In the submissions of Adesina Tiamiyu, the General Manager of LASEMA, he argued that “the 13,000 CCTV cameras would complement the emergency call numbers as analysts could adequately monitor activities from the Command and Control Centres across the State,” stressing that “These combined efforts can only make Lagos safer.”

While hinting that the Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has approved the establishment of three dispatch centres at Lekki, Ikorodu Road and Badagry, he added that his agency is working on complementing the existing dispatch points located at the LASEMA Response Unit, Cappa, Oshodi, and the Command and Control Centre, Alausa.

Mr. Adesina said “The operation will include monitoring and surveillance activities in domestic, industrial and public facilities in the State which is a paradigm shift from the orthodox strategy of waiting for emergency to occur and then respond”.


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