Lagos Seeks Police Fund’s Support To Equip Personnel, Protect Infrastructure.

Owing to the increasing huge resources to secure the state, better equip police personnel serving in Lagos and also protect its infrastructure, the state government is seeking assistance from the Police Trust Fund and the federal government to help in meeting its growing responsibilities.

President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 signed the Act that establishes the Nigeria Police Trust Fund to among other things, provide funds for the training and retraining of the personnel of the Nigerian Police Force, provide state of the art security equipment and machinery to improve the general welfare of the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force and enhance their preparedness to effectively discharge their constitutional duties of protecting life and property across the 37 states in the country.

The funding components of the Trust Fund include 0.5 per cent of the total revenue accruing to the federation account and 0.005 per cent of companies operating in Nigeria

Just last Wednesday, the federal lawmakers approved the N11.4 billion, the first budget for the PTF for the 2020 fiscal year that will lapse 30 April 2021. The funding is to help the police to increase its capacities and of course, provide better and improved services across the country.”

If the assistance sought by Lagos is secured, it will go into investment in security infrastructure and equipment, installation of digital scanners at all entry points, equip police personnel serving in Lagos with adequate gadgets to combat vandals and criminal elements in the state.

Consequent upon this, the state government has raised a seven-man lobby team to engage the federal government on this and also on the long-drawn-out rehabilitation work on Lagos-Badagry Expressway, a key road infrastructure, according to Aderemi Adebowale, the Special Adviser on Civic Engagement to the Governor who spoke at the end of a two-day deliberation at the annual Executive-Legislative Parley of the state on Saturday,

“To equip police officers serving in Lagos with adequate gadgets, there is a need for the State to access resources from the Police Trust Fund domiciled with the Federal Government”, Adebowale said

“We are calling for improved protection for Lagos infrastructure through the installation of digital scanners at all entry points and continuous investment in security infrastructure and equipment. This must be complemented with regular capacity building for security personnel to align with global best practice.

At the parley hosted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and attended by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly and Rt Hon Mudashiru Obasa, participants resolved to have a discussion on some lingering issues around the reconstruction work on the international corridor, on which they have also enlisted the support of all federal legislators from Lagos as the state begins to create a database of licenced private guards and security operatives in Lagos in a move to define competencies for informal security guards.

The parley dwelt on ideas to further secure Lagos and transform it to become the logistics and port hubs in Africa. Part of what needs to be done is acceleration and improvements on the infrastructure of the State with emphasis on roads construction and sustainable integrated transportation system through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. The quick completion of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, an international corridor, is also key to boosting the State’s economy.

To deepen the fund to address the insecurity in the state, participants at the parley also agreed that the local government areas are also to henceforth contribute to the state’s Security Trust Fund to complement the funding from the State Government while security clearance from relevant Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) for the creation of motor parks in Lagos in order to regulate and address activities of miscreants.

On the long-drawn-out rehabilitation work on Lagos-Badagry Expressway, the seven-man lobby group chaired by Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat is to dialogue with the Federal Government through the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure to secure a guarantee for quick completion of ongoing work on the Okokomaiko-Seme Border stretch of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway. The committee is expected to give feedback to the State Government within weeks for further action.

The Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), an agency set up for the monitoring and maintenance of roads recently announced that the ongoing rehabilitation works of a section of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway are currently 88 per cent complete according to Rufus Onimisi, FERMA South West 2 Zonal Coordinator, who said the project contractors (Wizchino Engineering Ltd) are fast-tracking the implementation of the project which spans from Igboelerin to Agbara.

Other members of the lobby group include Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, Special Adviser on Arts and Culture, Solomon Bonu, two federal legislators and two legislators in the State House of Assembly.

Sanwo-Olu assured the participants of complete implementation of the resolutions but said all hands must be on deck to sustain development and good governance in the State.

The Governor, who said the essence of governance was to prudently deploy public resources for the public good, noted that the State’s citizens desperately yarned for delivery of democracy dividends that would improve their wellbeing.

He said: “The Executive and Legislature must work together to ensure that the rebuilding of Lagos is done urgently and efficiently. The vast majority of our people want the government to work for them. They don’t make any distinctions between the Executive and the Legislature; as far as they are concerned, we are all public officials elected to deliver on the mandate of efficient governance.

“There is no room for making excuses to our citizens, or blaming another arm of Government for the inability to deliver. It is up to us to ensure that, even though we are separate and independent arms of Government, we must always be on the same page and constantly resolving whatever issues and differences we have.”

 

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