Agba: FG to Install Facial Recognition Cameras to Boost Security at Airports

Agba: FG to Install Facial Recognition Cameras to Boost Security at Airports

James Emejo in Abuja

The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, yesterday said the federal government would commence installation of facial recognition technology at major airports in the country.

Speaking when he hosted the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, and a team from NEC Corporation of Japan in his office, the minister added that the airports would soon be operating automatic security measures that would incorporate the use of facial recognition solution to improve security around the airports and easily detect impostors.

Agba explained that the technology would be deployed to airports through grant agreements between the federal government and the Japanese Government, with a focus on Lagos and Abuja international airports in the pilot phase before the project would be extended to Port Harcourt, Enugu and Kano Airport.

He said as part of pre-requisites for the processing of the facial recognition system, he would be leading the ambassador and the team on a site survey visit to Lagos and Abuja Airports for necessary assessments.

The minister said, “I am happy that the series of meetings, which began in January this year in Tokyo on this project, aimed at recognising faces of persons who pass through our international airports has started to yield result. 

“This, we believe, would further strengthen the security of our people and the country as a whole. This project was conceived in view of several security concerns among Nigerians and the need to nip these growing concerns in the bud.”

 The minister expressed his readiness and determination to leave a worthy legacy that would be inherited by the next administration in the area of a more secured country.

He also pleaded for the understanding and cooperation of all relevant stakeholders that would make the proposal a reality, assuring that facial recognition had proven to be effective globally, in securing airports.

However, Kazuyoshi, in his remarks, explained that the use of advanced technology like facial recognition system would ensure that security threats were reduced in and around Nigerian airports.

In a statement issued by the ministry’s Director, Information Department, Mrs. Boriowo Folashade, he pointed out that the security measure would further strengthen the country’s security architecture and encourage more investment opportunities in different sectors of the economy, citing the instance of similar project implemented in Nairobi, Kenya and how the project had changed Kenya’s security narratives.

The Japanese envoy stressed that the security solution works through image capturing techniques, Neo Face Watch Logging in, live view, widgets and dashboard, face Search and image manager and basic configuration, among others.

He also assured that it was practically impossible to compromise security issues with the use of facial recognition technology.

Kazuyoshi called on the Nigeria Police force and the country’s immigration services to embrace the initiative as it would automate most of their operations and ease day to day security checks in the Airports.

He said, “In all, we want to holistically support Nigerian Government to improve security, social cohesion and promote better migration management through the use of technology and installation of CCTV Cameras at strategic places.”

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