President Muhammadu Buhari presented his security solutions to South West traditional rulers during a meeting at the presidential villa.
Buhari laid out a two-pronged approach to tackle insecurity in the region. His approach includes; the deployment of drones in states to monitor their environments and the installation of closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) in major highways.
Backstory: Per presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, Buhari said:
- “We will be issuing directives to the appropriate federal authorities to speedily approve licensing for states requesting the use of drones to monitor forests and other criminal hideouts. We also intend to install CCTVs on highways and other strategic locations so that activities in some of those hidden places can be exposed, more effectively monitored and open to actionable review.”
Why it matters: The president is at least offering a solution but it is not the first time the Nigerian government has resorted to those measures to no avail.
- A previous $470 million contract awarded to Chinese firm ZTE for installation of CCTV cameras in Nigeria’s federal capital territory was enmeshed in corruption and ultimately failed.
- In June, the Nigerian Army showcased the deployment of a mini drone to curb kidnapping in Ondo and Ekiti states. However, there is no evidence that this measure has been effective.
Bottomline: President Buhari’s order on drone licensing will definitely go a long way in resolving the frustrations reportedly encountered by state governments to obtain safety and security clearances to utilize drones in their domains. This is due to the strict conditions stipulated by Federal Government agencies responsible for granting the approvals.