Kogi, China partner on $60m smart security architecture

The Kogi State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chinese investors for the provision of a high-technology security architecture that will capture movements in and out of the state from a control centre.

The state government said in a statement on Tuesday that in sealing the security control deal, all stakeholders, including the Army, Department of State Services, Navy, Police and local vigilantes, were carried along.

Abdulkareem Siyaka, chief executive officer of Kogi State Investment Promotion and Public Private Partnership Agency, said a lot of work went into the conceptualisation and design of the project with the Chinese firm, Hytera, to eventually arrive at an investment deal that would greatly improve the state’s economy and end insecurity in Kogi as well as across adjoining states.

He disclosed this at the opening of a two-day interactive workshop on ‘Kogi State Mission Critical Support System: A 21st century integrated smart state/security architecture’, held in Abuja.

He said the project was expected to create over 685,000 jobs, attract over N591 billion investment yearly, while also encouraging migration to rural areas in the state, adding that a 5G licence had already been acquired by the state from the Nigerian Communications Commission.

Siyaka said: “We are putting the whole state on the map, real-time, virtual, audio and visual, so as you enter Kogi State from anywhere, even though the bush, we will see you. I won’t go into too much details because of the sensitivity of the architecture. But the components will be manned by a command/control centre.

“The idea is that the moment you come into the state, we will see you; if you’re driving, if you’re walking, you have metal, if you’re talking, we will be able to pick it and then if you do something wrong, we will be able to intercept you using our field personnel on the ground, etc.”

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He added: “Our boss, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, is futuristic in everything he does. He is not a leader that jokes with the security of the state. That is why we are number one in that area today.

“He knows that to develop Kogi State, he will need to be ahead of criminals by using artificial intelligence, by using super crime fighting infrastructure. We are bordered by 11 states we don’t have control over, so the best way to immunise, to arm ourselves is to go into this kind of project.”

Governor Yahaya Bello, while declaring the workshop open, said he was confident that the project, which would be driven by 5G network and a 30 megawatts gas-powered electricity plant to be built by an American company, would not only ensure a safer Kogi State, but would improve economic and infrastructural development, greatly.

He said, “There cannot be any meaningful development without adequate security. We are a serious government ready to harness every of our resources for the benefit of our people. We will continue to do our best. We have received several awards in terms of providing safety and security for our people. That is a call to do more and we will do more.

“I want to assure the people of Kogi State that to my last day in office, I will continue to cooperate with all our law enforcement agencies and our citizens across board to make sure we fight these criminals to a standstill.”