After many years, Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital will be getting its large scale CCTV cameras installed in the city with a skyrocketing population of about 22 million.
Lagos has always mull the plan of having a close-circuit camera system that can help the state authorities to combat crimes, terrorism and ease traffic congestion, one of Lagos’ stigma for many years.
According to the state government, 13,000 CCTV cameras will be installed. It will be complimented with ‘additional 6,000 street lights and security sensors for surveillance and crime prevention across the State from October, 2016’. It will also include the ‘removal of three roundabouts along the Lekki-Epe Expressway) in the State, installation of information highway-metro fibre and deployment of 4GLT across the State’. The state also plan to decongest traffic along the Lekki-Epe Expressway through the removal of three roundabouts namely the 4th Roundabout (Elegushi); 5th Roundabout (Jakande) and the 8th Roundabout (VGC). The government said oundabouts would be replaced by the use of traffic lights, expansion of the roads and provision of dedicated turning lanes as well as additional lay-bys.
While this is a commendable move, although coming late, Lagos state government must realise the responsibilities, sensitivities and capacities rquired to manage CCTV installations and sensors.
By default, many would think foreign ‘experts’ should be called in to manage the process. However, it should be a private sector driven facility under the supervision of security and state administrators.
Nigeria’s problem has not really been infrastructure, but the lack of discipline, seriousness and incompetence on the part of people inviolved in overseing the maintenance of the ones available.
In 2013, Nigeria was scammed by a consortium of government officials and private companies in the installation of CCTV cameras in Abuja and some key cities in Nigeria. Lagos must ensure contractors and politicians do not corrupt the process of giving Lagos a well-designed city monitoring system that can combat crime, ease traffic and fight crime in the city.