Friday, December 11, 2009

SAFE CITY SOLUTIONS CONFERENCE: A DIFFERENT KIND OF MISSION TO ISRAEL.

Every year, Nigerians of the Christian faith go on pilgrimage to Israel. This year, about twenty thousand Nigerians are expected to make the trip

This was not the case with the trio of Ndudi Osakwe, Patrick Keku and Unuigbe Irheren. They traveled to Israel on a different mission. The reason for their visit was to attend a conference on Safe City Solutions held in Tel Aviv, Israel, November 30 to December 1, 2009.

Safe City has been defined to be a city that implements the simplest norms necessary for a quiet, safe life, free of concern about personal security.

The vision of a safe city is that of a city free of street urchins, violence, sale of alcoholic products in motor parks, hawking of pornographic materials on highways and street corners.

It is a city whose residents cooperate and respond to every violation of the norm as established by the government, a city that responds quickly to robberies, youth at risk, dysfunctional families. A safe city contributes to effective education of the preschoolers for the first five years or more in order to prevent the formation of social vices. This is a tall order in Nigeria.

Most Nigerian cities are homes to frustrated youths, poor families and those whose high expectations of the city environment have failed. Several affected persons have ended up as school drop-outs, street urchins, prostitutes, armed robbers, internet fraudsters, hard drug users and drunkards etc. These issues demand immediate remedy from the government

While doing that, a discerning government notes that increasingly, cities and urban regions compete with other places for attention, investment, visitors, shoppers, talent, events, and the like. With globalisation, competition is no longer limited to the capital and big cities as it now directly affects all cities and concentrations of urban settlements, near and far, within and outside of the country.

Given the above context, safe city has become one of the critical indices in the choice of where to live, invest or do business. Infact, safe city provides the prerequisite for city growth and success, increasing business opportunities and a basis for a high standard of living for residents and visitors.


Lagos Adopts Safe City Norms

Imagine a city in which state-of-the-art sensors detect thieves trying to break into a home, cameras record the license plate number of a car trying to rob a bank, and experienced switchboard operators handle every resident request online. This is not a city in another planet but a safe city whose policies is now implemented in many cities around the world.

The conference was declared open by Tzipi Livni, former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister with the Nigerian Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Olisa Dada in attendance.It kicked off with a well attended gala dinner and display of Israeli folklores and songs. However, the highpoint of the conference was on the second day when the best minds in Homeland Security matters from around the world delivered several papers on ensuring a safe city.

Technology solutions that enable emergency response units, law enforcement agencies and private security companies to reduce urban violence, fight crime and prevent threats were on display.

It was indeed the journey of ‘three wise men’ on a mission to the Holy land.

1 comment:

mycompanion said...

The Ekiti State governor, Segun Oni, on October 5, 2010, flagged off the test running of a statewide Integrated Security Alert System, designed to trigger off simultaneous alarms in major police and security formations in the state when crimes are committed, reported Next Newspapers

Speaking at the ceremony in Ado-Ekiti, Mr. Oni called on the people of the state to volunteer information on the activities of criminals to security agents, so as to assist in crime detection and prevention.

He also said a Swift Response Squad (SRS), made up of mobile policemen, would patrol the state in 50 new patrol vehicles and are expected to offer timely response to security alarm and distress calls from members of the public.

He said the security structure being put in place by the state government would, among other things, curb cases of cross-border raids by armed robbers and kidnappers, and also guarantee a 24-hour security watch over the entire state. While noting that the state capital had witnessed tremendous growth in the last three years, Mr. Oni said available statistics indicate that the number of residential buildings, office blocks, and shops had almost doubled, while the number of hotels and hotel rooms had almost quadrupled.

“Having realised the challenges of these new development, the administration is investing a lot of resources into the provision of roads, supply of potable water supply, electricity, and strengthening security, in its bid to make the investment climate of the state more attractive to both local and foreign investors,” he said.

The state commissioner of police, Chris Katso, expressed appreciation to the state government for supporting the state command in the performance of its duties of crime control and prevention.