Crime rate in Port Harcourt and its suburbs has in the recent past reached a frenetic and feverish pitch. However, some spirited moves made recently in the state to stem crime rate have yielded good result, as the state Police Command, a forthnight ago, arrested four die-hard armed robbers.
Only last week, the eight suspected kidnappers and armed robbers, arrested by the state police command, confessed to the killing of eight policemen between April and June this year. What’s more, the command has within the last six months arrested over 60 suspected armed robbers and 41 kidnap suspects. This is unfortunate, to say the least.
The state Commissioner of Police, Suleiman Abba who announced this in Port Harcourt while parading some suspected armed robbers, assured the people of the state on the preparedness of the command to improve security in the state.
Not too long ago, the state police command apprehended about 55 suspected criminals involved in kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism and other vices in the state. Similarly, the command dismissed no fewer than 10 policemen for violent conduct to members of the public.
Viewed against this backdrop, it is obviously a welcome development to hear that the state police command will soon install Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras on the roads in Port Harcourt.
The state Police Commissioner who dropped the hint, said the move is part of efforts to ensure effective monitoring of its officers and men, manning road blocks, as well as improve security on the roads.
His words: “Our men at the road blocks will be monitored with CCTV cameras to enable us see what they are doing. This is so because anything they do will be outright dismissal if we find anyone engaged in corrupt practices.”
Indeed, the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) monitors, now in use in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, are some of the modern security devices that should be installed in Port Harcourt and its environs without delay, if the spate of crimes is to be stemmed.
One can recall that in 2008, the police authorities installed the CCTV monitors in FCT, Abuja. Mr Haz Iwendi, the Force Public Relations Officer, at the time, who announced the installation of the security devices, said the television monitors would enhance security surveillance in the federal capital. His words: “The idea is for us to be able to cover the entire FCT, and be able to crackdown on all criminal activities and those behind them.”
The police authorities, no doubt, need to be commended for the installation of CCTV monitors in Abuja and its suburbs, especially the federal government that provided the funds with which the police procured and installed the security devices.
But while lauding the nation’s police for the landmark achievement in crime control, one would want to urge the authorities to extend the gesture to other major cities across the country. Yes, the CCTV monitors should not be limited to only Abuja and its environs. Cities such as Port Harcourt, Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Enugu, among others, also need (urgently) such modern security surveillance devices to checkmate the antics of men of the underworld and other miscreants unleashing terror on law-abiding citizens residing in these cities.
It is common knowledge that the spate of crime in some major cities in the country has in the recent past assumed an alarming proportion. Therefore, the introduction of CCTV cameras to check the antics of criminals should not for any reason be an exclusive affair for Abuja and its suburbs.
Agreed, Abuja is the nation’s federal capital city and should be provided with the best security surveillance devices. But security reports across the country indicate that other cities have in the recent past, witnessed an upsurge in crime wave.
It would be recalled that the erstwhile Inspector-General of Police, Sunday Ehindero, lamented that the spate of crime in the country, especially in major cities, had continued to soar in spite of steps taken to stem the tide of crime.
Accusing the nation’s police commissioners, at the time, of not helping matters, Ehindero, however assured Nigerians that everything possible would be done to nip in the bud, the antics of criminals in major cities. Again, the immediate past Police Inspector-General, Mike Okiro, also re-echoed same. Yet, criminals have been on the prowl in Port Harcourt and other major cities across the country.
Well, since the police authorities have taken some dogged steps to install CCTV cameras in FCT, Abuja, the cameras should be installed not only in Port Harcourt but other major cities in the country because, what is worth doing is worth doing well.
All said, as we await the installation of CCTV cameras in Port Harcourt, it is hoped that the project will not remain in the pipeline like most of the police projects, yet to be executed, years after they were proposed.
Senate Resumes Work On MTEF/FSP, Next Week
The Senate Committee on Finance, yesterday, said it would begin legislative work on the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) on Wednesday, August 19.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos West), disclosed in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, adding that invitations have been sent to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the government with presentations to make on the document.
Adeola, in the statement signed by his media aide, Kayode Odunaro, said the MDAs were to appear before the Senate Joint Committee on Finance, and National Planning.
He noted that there was need to examine the rationale for pegging the price of crude oil at $40 per barrel and a projected crude oil production of 1.86 million barrels per day (mbpd), in the MTEF/FSP document.
He said, ”We are kick-starting the process on Wednesday with Government-Owned Enterprises (GOEs) like NNPC, NCC, NPA, Customs Service, NIMASA, DPR and others, followed by the Ministry of Finance and its agencies, and subsequently, all revenue generating agencies”.
The lawmaker called on heads of MDAs to be prepared to defend their projections “as the Joint Committee intends to present the report to the Senate in plenary immediately on resumption from its ongoing vacation in tandem with the desire of the upper chamber to pass the 2021 budget in December.”
Adeola insisted that there was need for thorough scrutiny of the MTEF/FSP document in view of the fluid nature of the world economy following the disruptive impact of Covid-19 pandemic and the vagaries of the international market for crude oil and its attendant effects on the nation’s sources of revenue.
According to him, “There is a need for all stakeholders to come together to critically study the fundamentals of the ‘new normal’ forced on the global economy by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“With the instability witnessed in the price of crude oil at the international market and the sluggish world economy with some nations falling into recession, there is a need to assess our situation critically and be realistic about our revenues sources for budgets going forward”.
By: Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja
Take Off Of National Senior Citizens’ Centre Underway, FG Assures
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has said plans are on the way to build a centre for the old people.
Farouq, according to a statement by her Special Assistant on Strategic Communication, Halima Oyelade, said this at a meeting with the Coalition of Societies for the Rights of the Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN) in Abuja, yesterday.
“She assured members of the coalition that the ministry is working toward the successful take-off of the National Senior Citizen’s Centre,” the statement said.
It read further: “According to the Minister, a law establishing the centre is already in place. When operational this centre will among other things identify needs, opportunities, and training of senior citizens and provide recreational, sports, educational, health and social programmes and facilities designed for the full enjoyment and benefit of senior citizens.
“Responding, the President of the COSROPIN, Senator Eze Ajoku, thanked the Honourable Minister for the Covid-19 Palliatives, the group had received to cushion the effects of the pandemic.
“He then briefed the minister on activities of the coalition which include following up on the National Policy on Aging, pursuing non-contributory health insurance for older persons, enumeration of older citizens as well as the Older Persons Rights and Privilege Bill which according to him had passed second reading at the Senate.
“He asked for the minister’s support in the actualization of these initiatives.
“The Honourable Minister assured the coalition of the ministry’s support adding that older citizens are one of the key vulnerable groups that are of concern to the ministry.
“She further noted that most of them have been of service to the nation in their prime and still have a lot to offer due to their wealth of experience.
“The ministry will, therefore, ensure it gives due attention to issues concerning their well-being while ensuring it carries them along in the structuring and take-off of the National Senior Citizens Centre.”
World Powers Deny Us Weapons To Fight Insurgency, FG Cries Out
The Federal Government has appealed to the world powers not to be weighed by unsubstantiated arguments to deny the country vital platforms and weapons to fight insecurity.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the appeal, yesterday, when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja.
“I want to use this opportunity to say that the international community can help us better than they are doing right now.
“To fight terrorists we need platforms and weapons.
“When the international community is weighed by unsubstantiated arguments to deny the country of vital platforms and weapons to fight insecurity, you cannot turn round to accuse the country of not fighting terrorism,’ he said.
The minister buttresses the claim, saying “certain world powers have refused to even sell to us certain vital weapons.”
“For more than two to three years now, we have paid for certain vital weapons that they have not released to us and they even refused to give us spare parts.
“I think our appeal to them is that they should please help Nigeria to provide us with these sensitive platforms so that we can fight insecurity more effectively.”
The minister said for Nigerians to fairly assess the efforts of the Federal Government in the fight against insecurity, they should compare where the country was pre-2015 and today.
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