The Lagos State Security Trust Fund(LSSTF) has received N1.4 billon to tackle security issues in the State .The money was raised by private individuals and corporate organizations .
The funds were raised between January and November 18, 2019. The highest corporate donor was Zenith Bank Plc which donated N300million while Mr Femi Otedola donated N80million as some residents donated as low N2,000 and N1,000 each to make up the amount .
More so, the agency also got 98 pickup vans and 40 GAC saloon cars from different donors. Already some of the vehicles had been handed over to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police . Speaking at the 13th Annual Lagos Trust Meeting ,Executive Secretary of LSTF ,Dr Abdurrazaq Balogun ,said the initiative has helped in no small measure to address the state’s peculiar security situation through the prompt provision of necessary professional and logistical support for the various security agencies in the state to operate seamlessly.
Balogun, said out of the N1.4bn raised, N842m had been spent on “intervention to security agencies and operating expenses.
“Being the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria and West Africa, Lagos has its peculiar security challenges, with its sheer human density driven by a rising population due and economic-driven migration, making the state naturally vulnerable to criminal activity.
”But the coming of the LSSTF really assisted in swiftly addressing some of the state’s most critical security concerns,” Balogun assured.
“The Lagos State Government had established the LSSTF on September 3, 2007 as a public-private partnership framework for mobilising and providing equipment and resources for effective operations of security agencies in the state”.
Balogun said the LSSTF was a practical response to the reality of the operational deficiency of the various security agencies within the state, particularly with regard to funding and provision of modern equipment.
“With the realisation that the huge demands of security can no longer be met by government alone, the LSSTF is primarily conceived to institutionalise an enduring public/private approach to security challenges in the state,” he explained.
“The law setting up the Trust Fund provides for the structure, funding, decision making and accountability procedures for the Trust Fund.
“The main goal of the Trust Fund is to provide money for the acquisition and deployment of security equipment and such human, material and financial resources as shall be found necessary for the effective functioning of all Federal, State, Local Government and other security agencies operating in the State and part of the Fund shall be reserved for the training and retraining of security personnel.”
With regular provision of training and critical security equipment such as surveillance helicopters, operational vehicles, motorbikes, arms and ammunition, patrol boats, Armoured Personnel Carriers among others crucial operational needs to relevant security agencies in the state, crime rate in the state been on the progressive decline in the last 12 years, Balogun said. He noted that a number of the more notorious areas in the state have become safer for citizens to carry out their lawful daily activities without fear.
The Chairman, LSSTF Board of Trustees, Mr Our Hassan-Odukale, noted that crime fighting is mandatory and the Fund will not stop promoting the fight against crime.
He said: ”The theme of today’s event is, “Transformational Security” which means that at the Fund we are reviewing our response to security challenges in furtherance of our goal.
“After 12 years, our Trust Fund is still very relevant as we continue to provide critical support for the police and other security agencies. This is because our esteemed donors have continued to contribute to the Fund. This continuous support is not only a vote of confidence in the LSSTF, but a recognition that our collective resolve to continue the fight against crime is an absolute necessity.”
While the town hall meeting,lasted, more residents donated millions in cash and kind to the agency.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who appreciated the donors, assured them that the funds would be judiciously used.
He noted that the LSSTF was set up 12 years ago because the government could not do everything, adding that security was everybody’s business.
The governor stressed the importance of technology in security, adding that the state would soon launch a smart city project to make Lagos safer.
He explained that the government would also upgrade infrastructure across the state to improve security.
Sanwo-Olu said a regional security outfit code-named, Amotekun, an initiative of the South-West governors, would soon take off to combat banditry and kidnappings.
He said, “So, when you see those vehicles, which are going to be deployed in a space of one month or so, don’t be surprised. They are painted in strong red colours. They will be patrolling the border communities, interstate and intercity jurisdictions while working with the various police commissioners.”