Faculty and participants in the Executive Intelligence Management Course 17 of the National Institute of Security and Strategic Studies, drawn from Nigeria, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Gambia and Rwanda have lauded Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State for what they described as very visible improvement in security of lives and property in the state.

This came on a day the governor stressed that his administration would continue to deploy technology to fight insecurity in all nooks and crannies of the state.

The syndicate members made the observation during a courtesy call on Mbah at the Government House, Enugu, during which they also toured the state’s Command and Control Centre being put together by the governor.

Speaking, a directing staff at NISS as well as syndicate supervisor and leader of the delegation, Bolarinwa Adekunle, said the syndicate, which was drawn from 29 agencies and five African countries, was in Enugu to “understudy how the state government is leveraging AI to advance the security and economy of the state and also governance in general.

“I came to Enugu in 2022 as a participant of this prestigious course. We arrived in Enugu on a Sunday, and on Monday, we were made to stay in our hotel. We could not go anywhere. But, today, the situation is not the same.

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That has been stopped. Things have improved in the state.

“Artificial Intelligence, Security and Emerging Economies in Africa: Challenges and Prospects,” was chosen by the institute, as artificial intelligence was fast evolving globally and permeating almost every facet of human endeavour, including agriculture, health, security, manufacturing, transportation, education, and authority.

“Africa can not stay aloof and watch other continents of the world take advantage of artificial intelligence. It is, therefore, imperative that we appropriately interrogate the theme of this course, such that we leverage the opportunities that abound in artificial intelligence, while we also strive to mitigate the risk and the ethical issues that are associated with it. That is why we are here,” he said.

In his response, Mbah said his government prioritised security from the outset, knowing that his vision to grow the state’s economy from $4.4 billion to $30 billion, eradicate poverty and make the state the preferred destination for investment, business, tourism and living would amount to a pipe dream without it.

Mbah also said the administration owed the security and order enjoyed in the state to the commitment, sacrifices, and cooperation of the security agencies as well as the deployment of technology to track down criminals.

“We recognise that under the fundamental objectives and the directive principles of state policy in our constitution, the primary purpose of government is the provision of security and welfare for our citizens. So, it means that you lose your reason for existence as a government if you are not able to guarantee the safety of your people and which is why it was almost like we had to set forth on this when we took office.

“We have deployed technology to deal with the challenges of insecurity. In fact, you are actually seated here in the command centre, which we regard as our command and control centre. We will take you around shortly to see what we are doing in terms of the deployment of security surveillance cameras, where we monitor what is going on around in our state. We are also able to, again, deploy this around artificial intelligence to be able to nip some of these things in the bud,” Mbah stated.

He added that the state was investing heavily in education to ensure that the young people were imbued with the necessary and relevant digital and entrepreneurial skills that they needed to be able to deal with the future. That way, he said, they would be positively and gainfully engaged and have no reason to go into crime.