MPS Technologies Ltd CEO Johnson Salako heads the company tasked with rolling out Nigeria’s latest 3GPP standard mission critical communication network. This article will look at Nigeria’s Smart City Initiative, a program designed to close security gaps in major cities, improving safety for Nigerian citizens.
Nigeria is a country affected by violence and crime, ranking as one of the most dangerous African nations to live in. As part of its efforts to tackle the problem, the Nigerian government has commissioned the installation of a state-of-the-art new Smart City Surveillance System featuring license plate scanners, drones, and facial recognition technology.
The first phase of this ambitious project saw the creation of a criminal database, enabling law enforcement officers to identify suspects on sight. This database is compiled from pictures gathered during police stops and via CCTV cameras installed across Nigeria’s cities. Meanwhile, license plate scanners will be placed at intersections to track cars entering and leaving specific areas where robberies take place frequently, for example shopping malls and banks.
For some time now, Nigeria has had one of the world’s highest crime rates, making the country a dangerous place to live. According to the UN’s latest Violent Crime In the World report, Nigeria had the second-highest robbery rate globally, followed by Iraq and the US. In addition, Nigeria has also suffered more than its fair share of natural disasters, including major flooding that left many people homeless. Environmental pollution and a lack of proper sanitation are also major issues in the country, creating significant health risks for the population. This is partly why the average life expectancy of a Nigerian citizen is just 47.9 years. The Nigerian security situation has been heavily impacted by the living conditions of the average Nigerian.
As part of its far-reaching efforts to make the nation’s cities more secure, the Nigerian government is building a Smart City Surveillance System at a cost of some $150 million. The driving force behind the idea is to not only combat crime but educate and rehabilitate offenders.
With 200 violent crimes committed over a single 30-day period, according to data gathered by the BBC, Nigeria is no stranger to crime. It is hoped that these cutting-edge surveillance systems will also be an effective learning tool to help educate citizens on road safety. The Nigerian government intends to build sensors to detect jay walkers, issuing tickets to offenders as part of nationwide efforts to reduce road traffic accidents, particularly those involving child passengers.
Analysts estimate that violent crime is costing the Nigerian government somewhere in the region of $38 billion annually. With this in mind, the government hopes to save more than $8 billion annually through the implementation of advanced surveillance technology. Once completed, the surveillance system will be used by law enforcement agencies across the country. The government has also pledged to use some of the money saved to establish a defense force to secure the country against Boko Haram militants.
As part of the initiative, real-time notifications will be sent to both the Nigerian police force and the country’s citizens, providing information on incidents currently occurring in their local area – enabling police officers to focus on crime rather than waiting for the phone to ring. Police officers will also have the ability to scan suspects with digital cameras, eliminating the need to pull over vehicles. Facial recognition technology will enable police officers to identify suspects on the spot, as well as helping them to identify wanted criminals via a digital database.
In 2022, Lagos state announced ambitious Smart City plans as it prepared to launch its statewide fiber optics duct infrastructure, facilitating connection of every inch of the state’s territorial land area, which covers more than 452 square miles in total. The state intends the fiber optic backbone to support statewide deployment of CCTV cameras, helping to not only improve security but also track traffic.
In Nigeria today, CCTV has gone beyond select locations, rapidly becoming a nationwide phenomenon, as is the case in many other countries globally. With a population of more than 20 million, Lago is the country’s capital. Authorities hope that, through the installation of statewide CCTV, Lagos will eventually be comparable with New Delhi, India, a city touted as having the highest number of CCTV cameras per square kilometer globally as of December 2021.
MPS Technologies Ltd is proud to be at the forefront of this initiative, building and managing Unified Security Communications Networks to enhance the operational effectiveness of Nigerian security agencies. MPS Technologies Ltd leads Nigeria’s mobile telecommunication market, delivering the country’s first and only 4.5G Pro LTE Advanced network, developed for enhanced broadband services and ubiquitous public safety communications. In addition, MPS Technologies Ltd is also Nigeria’s leading network infrastructure provider, leveraging the NPSCS platform along with cutting-edge technology to keep people and businesses connected up and down the country.