24th November, 2010
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The Lagos State Police Command will need N20 billion to effectively wage war against armed robbers in the state.
Disclosing this at the 4th Town Hall meeting on security yesterday at the Civic Centre, Lagos State, South West Nigeria, the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Security Trust Fund, STF, Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey, said N20 billion is needed to procure equipment for the police to stem crimes in the state.
The money is needed to purchase 24,000 AK47 rifles; 20,000,000, 7.62mm ammunition; 20,000 smoke rifles; 20,000 bulletproof vests; 24, 000 ballistic helmets; 10,000 complete riot gear-body suit, shield, helmets and batons; 300 patrol cars; 300 police motorcycles; six helicopters, 100 Armoured Personnel Carriers, among others.
â€œEven a conservative estimate of the above requirements would run into about N20 billion which further underscores the need for the public-private partnership as the government cannot do it on its own.
â€œWe should also remember that Lagos State, being the commercial nerve centre of our country has a high potential for criminal activities which the Commissioner of Police had on several occasions described as criminogenic factors,â€ he stated.
According to Arthur-Worrey, â€œour waterways still need to be fortified. The men of the Lagos State Police Command need to be properly kitted and trained. The RRS fleet and indeed, divisional police stations require continuous maintenance and replacement.
â€œWe need to upgrade the police communications network in the state and provide more aerial support. CCTV cameras need to be installed for surveillance and so on. There is an urgent need for private organizations and individuals to step up their support for the public-private partnership security model by donating to the trust fund to ensure that we continue to create an environment where social and economic development can thrive and the quality of life can continue to improve.â€
Speaking at the meeting, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola urged individuals and corporate organizations to assist in upholding the security of the State by donating to the STF, saying it would cost less now to consolidate on what had already been achieved.
The governor said as a result of the investment on security in the last three and a half years, Lagos had become a choice destination of residence for not only Nigerians from other parts of the country but also people from across the globe.
â€œWe have developed the capacity to police the State not only on land but on the sea and in the air. This is probably the only State in the country where people can walk and jog at night without the fear of being kidnapped.
â€œThe attraction of millions of people to Lagos has placed a lot of strain on us in terms of infrastructure, social services and particularly security,â€ he stated.
â€œIn my first few weeks of resuming as governor of Lagos, there was hardly a night that I was not at the accident and emergency ward of one hospital or the other visiting those wounded by armed robbers or in a mortuary to see those killed by them. With joy, those incidents have become a thing of the past.