It was with great joy when it was announced that the Lagos State Government was going to launch a CCTV project to fight crime in the State.
A mega city like Lagos needed something to assure citizens of some form of protection at night, I thought finally maybe robbery would reduce, maybe they would wear masks but maybe we would be able to see their cars, etc. in all honesty now that I look back on it , maybe I was overly hopeful that the process would mirror , the ones seen on CSI and all those other TV crime programs or maybe it would just deter an impoverished drug addict from smashing my windows in traffic.
Anyway I waited for this to take place, after all we had all watched in horror and sometimes amusement as looters in the UK and US tore down shops and convenience stores carting away luxury items, electronics and whatever they could lay their hands own all in the name of rioting, and we watched in complete amusement as Scotland yard tracked down the culprits, gradually they were identified and arrested with the help of CCTV images…kids these days though.
I was still not unconvinced that this project would work after the Federal Government’s $430 million surveillance camera contract went right into the water. 1000 CCTV installed in Abuja with zero productivity, solar panels and batteries of the CCTV had been stolen while some cameras that were installed along the expressways and major roads in the FCT had been crushed by vehicles involved in accidents. It was extremely ironic that since the installation of the CCTV cameras in Abuja, criminals launched violent attacks on Abuja without being detected.]
So what was the Lagos State Government going to do different? , well without going into the Million Dollar scam the Federal Project turned out to be , I believed that the State might be a bit better, maybe they would not use substandard materials , and maybe truly this project would reduce crime but the truth of the matter is I am still waiting.
You can imagine my anger when allegedly the Federal Government stalled the installation of 10,000 CCTV in Lagos State, it was as if we should all suffer together since their own project turned out to be a Scam of massive proportions. Allegedly the Federal Government asked Lagos State to stall their project because they were embarking on theirs to install CCTV on all major cities in Nigeria.
I see so several years later all I hear is crickets, …no CCTV Cameras, I still clutch my bag in fear in Traffic, avoid the hawkers who hover round my car with their wares out of suspicion, and pray that terrorists will not make their way to my State of Residence.
This morning a corpse was found on Mile 2 road, in Lagos. What happened to the deceased? Was my first question but sadly his family may never know ,because even if we have tried to improve the no of street lights in the State there are no Closed Circuit cameras to tell us the story of what happens on our streets when our doors are closed and our eyes are closed.
Another Project journeys into Never Never Land …..how sad.