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Kogi, China Plan N591bn Investments, 685,000 Jobs

Kogi State Government has signed a Memorable of Understanding with Chinese investors for the provision of technology security architecture to track movement in and out of the state from a central control centre. It said this was to rid its shores of terrorists and all manner of criminal elements, Punch reports.

The state government said, in sealing the deal, all stakeholders, including the Army, Department of State Services, Navy, Police and local vigilantes, among others, were consulted and brought on board.

Chief Executive Officer, Kogi State Investment Promotion and Public Private Partnership Agency, KOSIPA, Abdulkareem Siyaka, told newsmen that “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 while also grinding insecurity to a halt in Kogi and adjoining states.”

He stated this at the opening ceremony of a two-day interactive workshop on “Kogi State Mission Critical Support System: A 21st century integrated smart state/security architecture” in Abuja.

The project, according to Siyaka “is expected to create over 685,000 jobs, attract over N591bn 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.

“We are putting the whole state on the map, real-time, virtual, audio and visual, so that as you enter Kogi state from anywhere, even through the bush, we will see you. I won’t go into 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 are driving, walking, talking, have metal; we will be able to pick it up and then if you do something wrong, we will be able to intercept you using our field personnel on the ground .”

He praised the Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello for the initiative, saying,”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. The best way to immunize and arm ourselves is to go into this kind of project.”

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

Governor Bello 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 that till 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.”

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