Telecommunications giant ZTE, has expressed confidence that the current probe into the $470 million National Public Security Communication System (NPSCS) project will finally put to rest all public misconceptions about the project.
The company’s optimism is contained in a statement by its Managing Director, Mr. Hao Fuqiang, and obtained by journalists on Sunday in Abuja.
The project was initiated during the administration of late President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua for the installation of CCTV cameras in Abuja and Lagos to curb insecurity.
Fuqiang said: “ We welcome this probe because we are sure we will come out clean. We have consistently maintained that the project was fully completed and final texts completed. The acceptance certificates are available for scrutiny.
“We are also proud that we built and delivered one of the most sophisticated security communication tools for the Nigerian government and Nigerian people. We believe the probe will unraveled why the equipment’s were left unutilized and allowed to waste.
“Though this is the third time this project is being probed, we welcome it and will give full cooperation to the committee because it is an opportunity for us to state our own side of the story. We hope that the government will do all within its powers to resuscitate this very important project.”
According to him, the NPSCS project is made up of five components or subsystems which have been full completed and tested:
• Video Surveillance Subsystem: This system comprises of 2000 surveillance cameras with a thousand each installed in Abuja and Lagos respectively. This is the easily noticed component of the project. The application of solar solutions in this subsystem was informed by the electricity power challenges in the country and the need to ensure sustained operations of the cameras wherever they are installed. This component is only about 12 per cent of the total package of the project.
• Video Conferencing subsystem: This subsystem provides a platform for real time video conferencing for the Nigeria Police Force across all commands and the Force Headquarter.
• The E-policing subsystem: This facilitates the deployment of E-policing databases.
• Coalition Emergency Response subsystem: This subsystem is a platform for national emergency communication using the short code of 911 for emergency and /distress calls and 912 for anonymous security information. It also empowers the security agencies to carry out coordinated response.
It is hereby recalled that the former Managing Director of Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai, Engr. Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai, had during the public session, told the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee to investigate the Award of CCTV Cameras in Abuja and Lagos.
According to him, the project was fully completed by ZTE, the Federal Government failed to operate and maintain it.
Ahmed-Rufai said, “We had a team of 25 engineers that went to every location to verify different stages of the project. We issued Acceptance Certificates after which payments were made to the contractor. There were milestones that were all carefully and professionally observed by the project implementation team.
“As the Project Consultant, I stand by every payment that was made and every decision taken on the project. The project was completed, tested and every component was working.
“It is erroneous for anyone to call the project a CCTV project because the Video Surveillance System (VSS) is even less than 8 per cent on the project. There were five components and they were all completed We need to be straight in how we discuss this issue.”
“They had to power down the backbone for the communication system because government was not forthcoming in maintaining and operating the system. It is a complete communication system, there were phones for security agencies, they were special phones for security agencies which some people decided to lock up somewhere.
“There were emergency communication vehicles, they were all delivered, People were trained, from the police and other agencies but somehow some people decided not to operate the system. Those cameras depend on a backbone that has over 670 base stations. Those BTS has to be powered for the cameras to work, The project is like someone who bought a brand new car but refused to sell it.”