Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday said the state government was nearly running a state police with the massive funding of the state‘s police command.
Speaking at the 6th Lagos Town Hall Meeting in Victoria Island, Fashola said the state government picked up the burden, owing to the inability of the Federal Government to properly fund the force.
He said the government had spent about N8.7 billion to support the police command in the last five years, saying much of the funds went into vehicles, equipment and other logistics.
The governor wondered why there were oppositions to the idea of state police, saying the state had shown that the model was workable with what it was already doing.
“With the present arrangement, the funding of the police is never the responsibility of state governments, rather it is that of the central government
“The Federal Government runs the police and until they listen and submit by way of constitutional amendment, we won‘t still get results.
“What we are already doing in Lagos is state police because we are funding law enforcement agencies with the resources generated by the state.
“And I make bold to say, we have so far provided over 85 per cent of the assets currently in use by security agencies in the state and these assets can be seen all over.
“So, what else? Those who are standing against the idea of state police are only turning the issue upside down,” Fashola said.
The governor said the state government would, through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund, continue to provide support for the police to boost their capacity to ensure security in the state.
While stressing that security was everybody‘s business, Fashola urged residents to partner with the government to provide security by making donations to the fund.
He urged residents to be vigilant always and assist the state government with useful information that could lead to the arrest of criminals in their vicinities.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Mr Fola Arthur-Worrey, said the government’s massive investment in security in the last five years had kept crime rate low in the state.
He explained that the donation of APCs, patrol vans and other equipment to the police had not only made the state secure but had made it a preferred destination for investment.