Kogi State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chinese investors for the provision of technology and security architecture to track movement in and out of the state from a central control center. It said this was to rid its shores of terrorists and all manner of criminal elements.
The state government said that in sealing the deal, all stakeholders, including the Army, Department of State Services, Navy, Police, and local vigilantes, among others, were consulted and brought on board.
Chief Executive Officer, Kogi State Investment Promotion and Public Private Partnership Agency, KOSIPA, Abdulkareem Siyaka, told newsmen that “a lot of work went into the conceptualization and design of the project with the Chinese firm, Hytera, to eventually arrive at an investment deal that would greatly improve the state’s economy while also grinding insecurity to a halt in Kogi and adjoining states.”
He stated this at the opening ceremony of a two-day interactive workshop on “Kogi State Mission Critical Support System: A 21st Century Integrated Smart State and Security Architecture” in Abuja.
The project, according to Siyaka, “is expected to create over 685,000 jobs, attract over N591 billion in investment yearly, while also encouraging migration to rural areas in the state,” adding that a 5G license had already been acquired by the state from the Nigerian Communications Commission.
“We are putting the whole state on the map, real-time, virtual, audio, and visual, so that as you enter Kogi State from anywhere, even through the bush, we will see you.” I won’t go into much detail because of the sensitivity of the architecture. But the components will be manned by a command-and-control center.
“The idea is that the moment you come into the state, we will see you; if you are driving, walking, talking, or have metal, we will be able to pick it up, and then if you do something wrong, we will be able to intercept you using our field personnel on the ground.”
He praised the Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, for the initiative, saying, “Our boss, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, is futuristic in everything he does.” He is not a leader who jokes with the security of the state. That is why we are number one in that area today.
“He knows that, to develop Kogi State, he will need to be ahead of criminals by using artificial intelligence and by using super crime fighting infrastructure. “We are bordered by 11 states that we don’t have control over.” “The best way to immunize and arm ourselves is to go into this kind of project.”
Declaring the workshop open, Governor Yahaya Bello said he was confident that the project, which would be driven by a 5G network and a 30-megawatt gas-powered electricity plant to be built by an American company, “will not only ensure a safer Kogi state but will improve economic and infrastructural development greatly.”
Governor Bello said, “There cannot be any meaningful development without adequate security.” We are a serious government, ready to harness every one of our resources for the benefit of our people. We will continue to do our best. We have received several awards in terms of providing safety and security for our people. That is a call to do more, and we will do more.
“I want to assure the people of Kogi that till my last day in office, I will continue to cooperate with all our law enforcement agencies and our citizens across the board to make sure we fight these criminals to a standstill.”