‘Safe City Solutions’ll Attract Foreign Investment’
First published by James Emejo of This Day Newspapers, 12.23.2009
Principal Consultant, Infoplus/IBG Nigeria, Mr. Ndudi Osakwe, has identified the concept of Safe City as one of the critical indices for attracting foreign investment and tourism into the country. The concept of Safe City portrays an environment that is void of street urchins, violence, sale of alcoholic products in motor parks and hawking of pornographic materials on highways and street corners among others.
Osakwe, who just returned from the Safe City Solutions conference held in Tel Aviv, Israel said 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.
The conference, which was declared open by former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister, Tzipi Livni, with the Nigerian Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Olisa Dada, in attendance showcased technological solutions that enable emergency response units, law enforcement agencies and private security companies to reduce urban violence, fight crime and prevent threats. It also provided a platform where the best minds in Homeland Security matters from around the world delivered several papers on ensuring a safe city.
“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,” he said.
He said a safe city entails a society “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 and 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.”
On the contrary, he observed that most Nigerian cities are homes to frustrated youths, poor families and those whose high expectations of the city environment have failed adding that these issues demand immediate remedy from the government so as to encourage foreign investment.
Osakwe, who was accompanied to the conference by Managing Director, Pahek Security, Chief Patrick Keku and Chairman, Olasco Security Nigeria Limited, Chief Unuigbe Irheren, CSP (rtd), said: “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.”