THE Enugu State Government says it will deploy 18 drones to provide extensive surveillance over forests and other flash points in view of recent breakdown of security in the state.
Briefing reporters Friday newsmen on the outcome of Thursday’s night State Executive Council meeting, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Chidi Aroh said that the deployment of the drones would be done in collaboration with relevant security agencies whose mandate it was to handle such.
The commissioner described the deployment of the recently acquired drones by the state as a major enhancement of the security infrastructure and management in the state.
He said: “With these drones, it is now clear that you no longer need physical presence to access the forests and other such places.”
He said that the drones would be deployed as soon as the security agencies concluded with other arrangements regarding the deployment of the drones, while revealing that the Government House would be directly involved to the entire operations.
The commissioner said that the State Executive Council had reviewed the security situation in the state within the last few months and appreciated steps so far taken by the state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to stem the spate of insecurity.
Aroh said that the state government in the last few months purchased 360 vehicles, 250 motorcycles and 300 bicycles to be handed over to security and associated security agencies in the state. He disclosed that the purchases had cost the state government over N1 billion.
He reiterated that 100 vans would be given to the Army, Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC). Also, 260 Sienna vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles would be handed over to forest guards, neighborhood watch groups and associated security outfits in the various communities.
Aron explained that, “the state government is currently putting super modern communication fittings in the vehicles to make them adaptable to situations and seasons.
“In addition, the government is installing VHF and UHF radio communication equipment for long and short distance communication.“
The commissioner said that the council formally approved the employment of 1,700 forest guards on the minimum salary of N30,000 per month, while members of the neighborhood watch groups would be paid allowance from N20, 000 to N25, 000 monthly. He said that such payments were tax free.