CCTV surveillance may be a thing in Lagos and Abuja sooner than you imagined

Well, we still don’t know where the $470 million allocated for CCTV across Lagos and Abuja in 2010 was dumped, but here is a bill by the National Assembly (House of Reps)to foster the installation of CCTV across Lagos and Abuja.

The bill is themed “Integration of Private Closed Circuit Surveillance Television (CCTV) into the National Security Network in Nigeria, 2019”. It has a single goal, installation of CCTV cams in arguably the most important cities in Nigeria.

Of course, this is a bold move to curb insecurity in Nigeria – one which the govt has not been doing so well so far – and we can only hope it works.

This bill goes beyond having the govt to do something about surveillance, it necessitates that private organizations and companies install CCTV cams around their buildings. And in the case of any investigation, organisations are mandated to give out recordings from the cams to the designated operatives.

First, post passing the bill to law, there is the issue of enforcement and execution, which the Nigerian govt is known to be so inept at. Irrespective, private defaulters of the mandatory installation are prone to either N500,000, or 6-months in prison. If this query is given at first, and the company defaults again, that’s 1 million naira or 1 year in prison. In some scenarios, both measures will be meted.

We have our fingers crossed in what becomes of this development.

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