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The Enugu State Executive Council yesterday held its maiden meeting and gave approval for the purchase of 18 automated drones for air surveillance within and outside the state for effective security management.

The council meeting, which was chaired by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, according to the Commissioner for Information, Nnanyelugo Aroh, also approved the immediate construction of three pedestrian bridges in Enugu urban to be located at Ogbete Main Market, Enugu, by Holy Ghost Cathedral, Garki Awkunanaw and Mayor Bus-stop by Agbani Road.

The council also approved the overlay of major roads in Enugu city, which were constructed by past administrations, as soon as the rains stop, as a lasting measure to take care of potholes created during the rainy season.

Explaining further on the above, Mr Aroh, who briefed journalists alongside the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Greg Nnaji, said that the planned overlay of the roads was in addition to the ongoing repairs of identified potholes in Enugu urban and intercity roads. He added that this is to ensure that the major roads across Enugu city are sustained.

On security, the information commissioner further disclosed that the council ratified the earlier approval given by the last State Executive Council on May 28, 2019, approving the purchase of 100 Innoson Hilux vans to enhance the capabilities of the security agencies in the state.

Mr Aroh also stated that 260 vehicles, as well as motorcycles and bicycles, are to be handed over to Forest Guards, Neighborhood Watch groups, among others, for community policing.

Mr Aroh, who noted that the security vehicles have been supplied, revealed that communication gadgets and other security facilities are being installed on the vehicles to ensure maximum effectiveness.

He added that the choice of indigenously manufactured vehicles from Innoson Motors demonstrates the state government’s commitment to encouraging local industries, create jobs for teeming youths and protect local investments.

According to the commissioner, “we have extracted a commitment from Innoson Group to establish a service centre in Enugu, consequent upon this purchase. This service centre is going to provide part of the technical services for the maintenance of these vehicles, in addition to a one-year maintenance guarantee that was given to the state government by Innoson Motors in line with our purchase agreement”.

Mr Aroh said that the state government has now completed the recruitment and training of one thousand, seven hundred (1,700) Forest Guards, representing 100 personnel from each local government area. He added that their salaries and emoluments including other local security groups were deliberated and approved for them “to move into the field immediately to ensure proper security of lives and property of the people”.

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He stated that the council, following the request made by the governor, approved an increase in the allowance payable to members of the Neighborhood Watch groups “to boost their morale.”

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