The quest of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to reform the state’s security and judicial sectors received a massive boost on Thursday as individuals and corporate organisations made commitments in cash and kind towards ensuring a safer and more secured Lagos.
At a dinner organised by the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), members of the corporate world and other respected members of the society, lauded the strides of Governor Ambode in the last two months as well as his plans to upgrade the security network in the state, affirming their commitment to continue to support the government’s strides to make Lagos safer.
At the event, over N1 billion was realised from donations from various corporate organisations and individuals while others made commitments to provide security patrol vehicles and gadgets as well as technical knowhow.
Mr Habib Aruna, Chief Press Secretary to the governor, in a statement on Friday quoted Ambode, in his remarks, saying that his administration remains committed to evolving new strategies to effectively police Lagos and rid the state of all forms of criminal activities.
The governor said his administration was already thinking of overhauling its security apparatus to be able to rise up to the evolving trends of crime in the state.
“Right now, we have just about 33,000 people policing us and we’re about 20 million. So, if you combine other forces, the Fire Service, LASTMA and Ambulance Service, it might bring the number to about 40,000 of them as against 20 million people.
“I can admit we lack the right technology. We don’t have a holistic approach to coordinate everything that we are doing and then we don’t have the security management that Lagos actually needs. So we are under-policed and we are not getting the right technology to be able to say that Lagos is secured. We must now integrate men, equipment and technology to keep Lagos safer,” he said.
“So technically, Lagos state government, the police and other security agencies have analogue technology right now, there is no interface amongst all of us. So we need to migrate to digital for improved information dissemination,” he said.
The governor lauded the private sector contribution to the LSSTF in the last seven years, which he put at a total of N4 billion, while the state government has contributed about N8 billion to the fund.
He said commencing from next year, a Lagos State Awards for Excellence will be held annually to recognise and certify individuals and companies which have been selfless about issues affecting Lagos.
Ambode said the state government was not resting on its oars, revealing that in the last 60 days, his administration has been fashioning new strategies to enhance security.
He also unveiled plans to strengthen the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) as well as establish an integrated security and emergency control platform, such that the control and command centre in Alausa will have an interface with other security networks through the surveillance cameras which will be provided.
“It is in my interest that I drive the business of making Lagos safer and it’s also in my interest that you join hands with me to succeed in this,” the governor said.
Among those present at the dinner were President of Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Managing Director, Zenon Oil, Mr. Femi Otedola; Chairman, Zenith Bank Group, Mr. Jim Ovia; Chairman, Heirs Holdings Ltd, Mr. Tony Elumelu; other top executives of financial institutions and firms; Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu 1, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule and Chairman, Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Mr. Remi Makanjuola.
Others were, Head of Service, Mrs. Folasade Jaji; Executive Secretary, Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), Mr. Fola Authur-Worrey; Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni; Commander, 9 Mechanized Brigade, Major-General Ahmed Mohammed Sabo; former Minister of Health & Chairman, Juli Plc, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi and Director, State Security Service, Mr. Little John Okojie; former Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Musiliu Smith; former Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr. Waheed Kassim; Hon. Justice George Adesola Oguntade (rtd), Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Kufre Ekanem, Corporate Service Executive, MTN Nigeria Communication Ltd., Mr. Akinwale Goodluck, among others.
He thanked the guests for honouring his invitation to be part of the event saying it was a testament to their commitment to partner with government to make Lagos safer.
“I want to say a very big thank you. I want to appreciate your presence. This was done in a short preparation and having this kind of audience in attendance, I want to say a very thank you to the Board of Security Trust Fund. Thank you so much,” he said.