Security Fund: Ambode Reassures On Judicious Use Of Tax Payers’ Money

…Says Commitment To Safety Of Lagosians Not Negotiable
…Holds Town Hall Meeting on Security

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday assured Lagosians of his determination to judiciously utilize the resources garnered from the people for the overall well-being of the State, just as he restated his commitment to ensure the security and safety of lives and property as well as sustain a friendly investment climate.

Governor Ambode, who spoke in Lagos at the 9th Town Hall Meeting on Security put together by the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) with the theme: “Refreshing Our Security Model,” said his commitment to the safety of the people is unwavering and non-negotiable.

The Governor said the town hall meeting was put together as part of efforts to continually create a platform for generation of ideas and solutions to confront security challenges facing the State, and to reassure the security agencies of the commitment of government to ensure their success.

While explaining that the N4.8 billion recently used to equip the police came from tax payers, Governor Ambode said that under his administration, such funds generated from the public will be accounted for and utilised to safeguard the lives of those who have chosen the state as home.

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“What we have done in the last two weeks that totaled N4.8billion, actually there is no kobo out of it that came from the Security Trust Fund, it actually came from all of you here, because there is nothing called government money, it is actually tax payers’ money. Those of us who have been contributing our taxes and paying our fees, we have apportioned part of the money that you paid as IGR of Lagos State to purchase those equipment donated to the police”.

“So we say to you, it is not our money, it is your money and it is only being used judiciously to protect ourselves”, he said.

Governor Ambode said that if one million people could contribute as low as N1000 each to the Fund, such would go a long way in providing modern gadgets to the security agencies, urging the people to donate generously.

On his part, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni thanked Governor Ambode for the equipment donated to the police, adding that the command had been challenged and motivated by the gesture to do more.

Owoseni, who assured Lagos residents of the determination of the police to adequately and swiftly prevent and respond to crime, said 4,789 motorcycles were equally impounded within the period under review.

Earlier while inaugurating the board of LSSTF, Governor Ambode said his administration would continue to make Lagos safe and secure only for law abiding citizens.

The Governor assured that he would not relent in efforts to properly and adequately equip security agencies in the State to confront security challenges, and vowed to always support the board of the LSSTF to succeed.

While recalling that the members of the board were selected based on their passion, track records of service, accountability, transparency and dedication, Governor Ambode said he had no doubt that the new board would hit the ground running, given the strong foundation that was laid by the previous board.

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He, however, charged members of the new board to bring to bear, their wide experience both in public and private sector to deepen the goodwill which the Fund has enjoyed over the years.

Governor Ambode, who said that security requires serious investment in technology, charged the board to expand the reach of the Fund and work to get more private sector support, adding that there was the need for the board to constantly engage the private sector and enlighten them on the need to be part of the collective effort to strengthen the security infrastructure of the State.

Speaking at the town hall meeting, Chairman of the LSSTF board, Mr. Oye Hassan-Odukale, who noted that the contributions from donors have sustained the Fund in the last nine years, lamented that the years of under resourcing the Nigerian Police and other security agencies by successive administrations at the centre have left a huge deficit that would require a yearly injection of at least N1 trillion for the next thirty years by the Federal Government.