BusinessDay

FG launches N-Alerts to deter kidnappers, bandits, others

The Federal Government says the nation’s security agencies are winning the war against insecurity despite occasional attacks on soft targets as the number of attacks is trending down, with more criminals apprehended and others deterred.

The minister of interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, stated this at the launch of the Nigeria Internal Security and Public Safety Alert System (N-Alerts), held at the Ministry’s Headquarters on Thursday in Abuja.

“The good news is that government is winning. The government has committed and continues to commit the unprecedented amount of resources – human and material – to addressing the security challenges in the country, with personnel and equipment spread thin.

The minister was of the opinion that many attacks would have been foiled if the security agencies had been notified in real-time, hence the need for a common platform that can interface the public with the security agencies.

“One noticeable lacuna is information and timely alert of the security agencies to incidents of crimes, breach of security and natural disasters before they happen or while they are going on. In most cases, they would have been prevented or mitigated if the alert had come in time,” the minister noted.

“As part of the response to this challenge, the ministry of Interior has therefore developed an application, a technological innovation that works with the smart mobile phone or any other devise with Android or IOS capability, to send alerts to all security agencies in real time.

“The initiative is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s policy of making the security of lives and property of Nigerians a priority. It is also part of the objective of leveraging on information and communication technology, in doing government business and operations,” Aregbesola stated.

The minister, who announced that the application is free to use for Nigerians, further noted that for now, it only works on smart devices and encouraged all Nigerians to download it for use.

“The App utilises a combination of audio-visual and geospatial location identification of the caller and scenes of incidents on the Ministry Inter-Agency Situation Room (MISR) and Command and Control Centres, Dashboards of the four Services and Police Headquarters for joint inter-agency operations.

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“You will recall that the Federal Government launched the National Economy Digital Policies and Strategy (NDEPS) under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy (FMCDE) in 2019 with the goal of driving the digitisation of the national economy sector as well as related sectors to which the security sector is one key component.

“It is to this end that the ministry designed and is now deploying the Nigeria Internal Security and Public Safety Alert System (N-Alert) mobile application for joint operations and monitoring of the preparedness of the Services and the Nigeria Police. This is a tool to enable the public access real-time response to distress and emergencies in the areas of crime, fire, flood, medical ambulance services etc.,” the minister stated.

Also speaking at the event, the minister of industry, trade and investment, Niyi Adebayo, congratulated the ministry for the launch of the app, saying it is coming at a time when Nigeria most needs it.

Minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, pledged the support of his ministry, the National Orientation Agency and other departments and agencies under his ministry in promoting and publicising the application for the use of Nigerians.

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