Friday, April 25, 2014

The Nigeria Rude Shock: The Abuja Tragedy

Monday April 14, 2014 was another day that would remain in infamy in Nigeria. The bomb blast tragedy that took the lives of roughly 71 innocent Nigerians will remain etched in our history for many generations. In spite of the best efforts of this administration we still
Atlanta CCTV: A 24 hr Command Center
suffered this heinous tragedy. Shortly after; these thugs snatched our children from their school.  This endless spiral of violence seemingly has no end.  Naturally, it will come to an end, one way or the other.  For everything that has a beginning must also have an end. Just as what goes up must come down.  Sadly, with this level of violence, the end of these campaigns of terror by these thugs will end in an explosive and devastating bang.  And the only victors will be Nigerians.  It is a war between the good and the evil. Between the light and darkness.  Light will also remain victorious.

The Tragedy
In a war against terrorism, it takes only one successful tragic operation like this out of countless failed attempts for the terrorists to claim victory and success. While the tragedy in Nyanya may be unavoidable, considering the low level of sophistication of the Abuja's technical and non-technical security systems; the post-tragedy investigations could have been well facilitated by the same structures already put in place by this administration; if they were functional

The Abuja Surveillance Project: CCTV
The best efforts of this administration have been sabotaged by those Nigerians and the foreign corporations that were delegated to complete the television surveillance project in Abuja.  We learnt recently that two years after the completion of a $470m  ( National Public Security Communications System Project in Abuja, most of the installed 1,000 cameras for the Closed-Circuit Television in the city have either been vandalized or stolen.
The project, which was handled by a Chinese firm, ZTE Corporation, at a cost of $470m, was  completed in 2012. The Managing Director of ZTE Nigeria, Mr. Hao Fuqiang, had said in an interview that every aspect of the project had been tested,  completed and handed over to the government.
ZTE Director: Hao Fugiang
“Every component of the project has been completed, tested and handed over to the Nigerian government. They are all working in perfect condition. Yes, we had challenges at the beginning of the project, but they were all addressed and I am proud to say that ZTE has helped to build modern architecture for public security in Nigeria,” he had stated.
A modern architecture for public safety in Nigeria has failed Nigerians at the Nyanya motor park and it would be of no use in our criminal investigations.
A functional CCTV should have captured the criminals in the process of planting the explosive; an information that may not forestall the tragedy but could be extremely valuable in the investigation and useful in the development of a future proactive strategies.
A Chinese firm, ZTE Corporation handled the installation of this CCTV project. The Managing Director himself admitted that there were initial problems that were taken care of before handling it to the Federal Government. 

A project of this significance or any significance needs constant maintenance and evaluation.  A life-term guarantee of technical support is an evidence of a corporation confidence in their services. This was obviously not done. We now know that these equipments were not even functional less than 2 years after its completion. Did ZTE Corporation even attempt to followup on the projects they completed to see how helpful it has been to Nigeria?
This is a contract of $470millions awarded to a Chinese Corporation that has gone down the drain in Nigeria.  It must be scam to siphon our resources by another greedy imperial corporation.

Our Recommendations:
  • A full investigation of this tragedy must be completed to identify what we missed and how to prevent this tragedy in the future.
  • All Nigerians in charge of this non-functional CCTV must be relieved of their posts immediately.
  • The Chinese, ZTE Corporation must be blacklisted and must never by allowed to complete any project in Nigeria for a foreseeable future. 
  • A criminal investigation of ZTE Corporation must be instituted immediately.
  • Nigerian Federal Government must wake up. There are Nigerian-owned corporations at home and in Diaspora that could execute these projects to an international standards for less.
  • Maintenance: Projects of this magnitude require constant evaluation and maintenance. A life-time guarantee of maintenance (with or without contract) is appropriate by any reputable corporation; with repair parts as additional.
  • Staff Development: The management of any CCTV requires ongoing staff development programs to ensure quality of program implementation and effectiveness. 
  • Nigerian-owned corporations at home or in the Diaspora can execute a better job than most of these Foreign Corporations for less and reinvest their capital in the Nigeria economy.
  • A Nigerian-owned corporation will give a life-time guarantee of excellent services of their projects and maintenance. 
Self-Imposed Imperialism:
The intentions of this administration for good governance have been exploited by these selfish contractors that were not interested in what is best for Nigeria and for Nigerians. 

Nigeria obsessions with foreign corporations in our nations building and development amount to self-imposed imperialism. We will continue to learn from these kinds of betrayals and the associated tragedies. This Chinese corporation could not even give a 2 year guarantee of their services. They took the money and left at the completion of the contract.

We have CCTV installations in Atlanta, Georgia and all over the world that have been functioning for decades without problem.  These installations are used to monitor traffics.  They have saved lives. They are used in crime investigations.  These CCTV are operated and  monitored round the clock by trained professionals. 

Only Nigerians can build Nigeria.  Our obsessions with foreign corporations amount to self destruction and a drain on our capital. 

Monday April 14, 2014; a day that will remain in infamy in Nigeria.

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