The government of Enugu State says it will deploy 18 automated drones to provide surveillance on forests and other flashpoints after a recent breakdown of security in the state.
The Commissioner for Information, Chidi Aroh disclosed this on Friday in Enugu while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the State Executive Council Meeting that held on Thursday night.
According to Aroh, the deployment of the drones recently purchased by the state would be done in collaboration with relevant security agencies whose mandate it was to handle such.
He described the deployment of the drones as a major innovation in security architecture and management in the state.
“With these drones, it is now clear that you no longer need physical presence to access the forests and other such places,” he said.
The commissioner said that the drones would be deployed as soon as the security agencies concluded with the installation of the necessary fittings. Aroh said that the drones would have their base at the Government House from where they would be monitored.
He added that the council had reviewed the security situation in the state within the last few months and appreciated steps so far taken by Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to stem the rising spate of insecurity.
He also said that the state government in the last few months had purchased a total of 360 security vehicles, 250 motorcycles, and 300 bicycles to be donated to security and associated security agencies in the state.
Aroh explained that the state government spent a little above N1billion in the purchase of vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles. He said that out of the 360 security vehicles, the 100 vans bought from a local entrepreneur, Innoson Group of Companies, would be given to the Army, police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).
The commissioner said that the 260 Sienna vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles would be handed over to forest guards, neighborhood watch groups and associated security outfits in the various communities.
“The state government is currently putting super modern communication fittings in the vehicles to make them adaptable to situations and seasons. Also, the government is installing VHF and UHF radio communication equipment for long and short distance communication. There is going to be a coordination base at Government House,” he said.
The commissioner said that the council formally approved the employment of 1700 forest guards at a consolidated salary of N30,000 per month. He added that the forest guards were expected to get into the field immediately.
Aroh disclosed as well that the council also approved the allowance payable to members of the neighborhood watch groups from N20, 000 to N25, 000 monthly. He said that such payments were free from tax deductions.