Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, along with top members of his executive council, were shown how the 1,200 closed-circuit television cameras located in the state work.
The security demonstration was carried out at the Command and Control Centre, Alausa, on the 27-screen video wall monitors by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs Nike Animashaun.
The initial stage of the CCTV project was launched in 2009 by the State Government. Then, the solar-powered CCTV cameras were installed at three locations – Falomo Bridge, Third Mainland Bridge and Eko Bridge. The project proved to be a success.
Governor Fashola and his colleagues were shown a footage of a last year's armed robbery incident at the Murtala Muhhammed International Airport. A gang of armed thugs raided a currency exchange bureau and stole a large amount of money. However, the police were able to apprehend the criminals with the help of recordings made by the CCTV cameras installed at strategic places.
Arrests made by the cameras prove that this technical equipment is handy in monitoring, fighting and tracking down criminal activities in the society.
Currently, activities at the airport, Agege Motor Road, Oshodi, Festac can be monitored through the security cameras. The technicians can zoom in on individuals, vehicles' number plates and other relevant details.
Lagos State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Adebiyi Mabadeje, said another 1,000 security cameras would be added to the existing 1,200.
According to him, security equipments already deployed to the state include 1,000 plus surveillance cameras, 66 base-stations on CDMA technology, microwave links, normal telephony capacity network with 3G data capabilities. He added that the Government plans to purchase 10,000 additional handsets for use by the police, RRS, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Ambulance and Fire Service, among others. He further disclosed that 2,000 handsets had been given to members of the police and Rapid Response Squad.
Governor Fashola said his Government plans to expand existing camera and telephony infrastructure to effectively cover the entire state and make it safe and secure. The Governor expressed his optimism that with all these arrangements, there would be no hiding place for criminals in the state.
"Now we have moved from a "zero camera state" to about 1,200 camera state," Fashola said.
"We are far behind other cities like New York and London, where they range between 200 and 450 cameras per square km, but we have moved from zero over 4000 sq. km and we have reduced that distance significantly.
"We followed that with house numbering, all of which are still work-in-progress and we realise that now that we could get police to move, but how do we call them? We moved from an 11-digit number to three-digit number, 767 or 112 because we did not think people in trauma will remember an 11 digit number easily. How quickly you can contact the police or ambulance is the difference between what practitioners of disaster management call the golden hour," the Governor said.