December 22, 2022

Insecurity: FG concessions $490 m CCTV Project – Police Affairs Minister


…As FEC gives NCC not to issue operational licence to private firm to run scheme

100 out of 696 CCTV towers revived, 10 out of 37 data centres nationwide rehabilitated

…Insists IPoB attacks on INEC facilities can’t stop 2023 elections

Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor

Determined to checkmate security challenges across the country, the Nigerian government has opted to farm out the operations of the $490 million National Public Security and Communication System to a private company to operate on commercial basis.

According to the Minister of Police Affairs, Dr. Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, the decision to concession the project has already received the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council, FEC. The authorisations automatically allow the National Communications Commission to issue an operating licence to the firm, MPS, to run the security system for the interest of Nigerians.

The Police Affairs Minister, who made the announcement while giving the scorecard of the ministry at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, explained that the decision was taken to ensure that Nigeria did not lose out on the vital project, which is being financed by the Chinese Eximbank on terms agreed between Nigeria and China.

Dr. Dingyadi explained that when fully operational, the NPSCS, would enable the police to capture and monitor in real time all happenings in all parts of Nigeria from a command and control centre manned by the police for proactive policing and prompt response to situations.

The minister said: “The concessionaire has taken over the project and is reviving the facilities with a view to putting them to work maximally. The company MPS has been given Universal Access Service License by the National Communications Commission to commence full scale operations.

“Latest report by MPS indicate that out of the 696 operating site towers, 100 of them have been successfully rehabilitated while 10 out of the 37 data centres across Nigeria have also been rehabilitated. The NCC is in the final phase of issuing operating licence to the concessionaire embark on full commercialization of the facilities to bring in economic fortunes to Nigeria as well as promote security of the country.

“In order to ensure the operationalization of the vital security scheme, the Ministry of Police Affairs obtained the approval from FEC for the concession of the National Public Security Communication System which was installed in all the 36 states of the federation except Borno, which was seriously challenged at the time it was done in the others.

The minister, who asked to comment on the continuous destruction of INEC facilities in the South East, said that such criminal confrontation would not be allowed to affect the conduct of the elections in any part of the country.

The minister boasted that no amount of attacks on INEC facilities would stop the government from going ahead with the elections as planned.

The minister said, “I have said it before and I want to repeat it again that the election will be held in all parts of the country and we want to assure all Nigerians that it is going to be hitch-free, fair and credible.

“What you see out there by these cowed criminals will not deter us from conducting these elections as scheduled,” Dingyadi stated.

On the kind of police force his ministry has groomed since the advent of the Buhari administration in 2015, the police affairs minister boasted that he was satisfied with the grooming of a new crop of police officers and men who are friendly, responsive and responsible but appealed to Nigerians to cooperate and support them to perform better for Nigerians.

The minister said the ministry would however continue to monitor the operations of police officers and men to ensure that they meet the expectations of Nigerians at all times.