Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Monday handed over to the Nigeria Police, Intelligence and Surveillance Centre capable of monitoring the entire state capital from the control room.
The centre was built by him by the governor with the sole aim of boosting efforts of the security agencies in crime fighting in the state.
The inauguration was performed by the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba.
The governor said the centre which is located at Ogbum-Nu-Abali community, Port Harcourt is fitted with the latest technology and would help in improving the crime-fighting capability of police officers and make the state safer.
He noted the need to create a more conducive climate for people in the state to go about their various endeavours and encourage the business community to operate their investment with a greater sense of security.
“Let me say clearly, this is our own contribution to making sure we have peace, fight insecurity, and that those who do business and reside here sleep with their two eyes close”, the governor stated.
He assured that another Intelligence and Surveillance Centre will be built and donated to the police in the next six months.
He said that together, the two centres would be part of the continued support of his administration towards strengthening the capacity of the security agencies in their fight against criminality in the state
Wike pledged to purchase and donate 10 more armoured vehicles to the Intelligence and Surveillance Centre to strengthen the performance of officers that would be deployed to the centre.
The governor noted that crime fighting in the state had improved tremendously since the Inspector General of Police was appointed. This is because instead of interfering, he has encouraged professionalism among his officers.
He said; “Let me commend our special guest of honour for the support you’re giving to this Command to fight crime. I want to say on good authority that since you came we have had peace, and we have had good relations with the Police Command, unlike what used to happen before where in one year we had over eight Commissioners of Police. I thank you for not bringing politics into security issues, and that is why today Rivers people can count this as one of the safest states.”
In his speech, Inspector General of Nigerian Police, Usman Alkali Baba thanked Governor Wike for providing the centre that would enhance the police capability to perform according to international best practices.
“Your excellency, this project is the main boost to my agenda of policing Nigeria in this contemporary time, which is in tandem with providing international best practices of using technology and ICT to police with ease,” the IG stated.
Baba added that the services to access at the Intelligence and Surveillance Centre would be combined with the police Cyber Crime Unit to render improved policing to Nigerians.
“I want to assure you that police will make use judiciously of this centre in collaboration with our cybercrime unit to tackle all forms of crime and criminality. We will do the needful to discharge our duty as expected”, he said.
The centre, he noted, can also be opened to other security agencies, on the basis of collaboration, synergy and cooperation to achieve real-time monitoring of crime incidences and apprehension of the culprits.
“You can sit and be getting a real-time incident report and you can also have the opportunity to send a team that is on standby at the station. I think this is the international practice we will encourage, and also appeal to other state governments and other stakeholders to repeat such project that will make human factor, not an issue.”
Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr Okon Effiong said the donation of the Intelligence and Surveillance Centre by the Wike’s administration is another of his outstanding and unflinching support to the police in the State.
He informed that there are about 150 CCTV cameras installed in strategic places across Port Harcourt and connected to the centre to keep the city under the surveillance radar on 24 hours basis daily.
“The Governor had earlier provided for the installation of CCTV security and surveillance cameras at all the entry and exit points in the state.
He has also graciously given approval for the installation of cameras in all the major cities in the State. In Port Harcourt for instance, about one hundred and fifty (150) cameras are being mounted. What this translates to is that from this centre the entire State will come under a surveillance radar that will be active 24/7.”
Mr Okon also said that there are 10 sectors into which the state capital has been delimited with dedicated teams that will respond to incidences. According to him, if activities at the crime scene become overwhelming, Mr Okong said, the strike-force team that is on standby at the centre will offer a backup.
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