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Sanwo-Olu begs partners as LSSTF records lowest donations In 16 years

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 -324 murder cases recorded, 409 suspects arrested in 2022- CP

 

IBRAHIM QUADRI

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday appealed to private partners and individuals not to relent in their support for the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), noting efforts should continue to ensure risks are properly addressed in the State.

 

The appeal was coming on the heels of a sharp drop in the annual contribution to the Fund. LSSTF received the lowest amount of fund in 2022 since its establishment in the last 16 years.

 

LSSTF received N153,000,000 donations in 2022. This was a far cry compared to the amount received in 2020 of N2.5bn and N1.042bn in 2021.

 

The Fund, which was established in 2007, through the Lagos State House of Assembly, was meant to fill the resource deficit of the police and other security agencies in the State.

 

It was disclosed at the meeting, a total number of 324 murder cases with 345 victims were also recorded while 409 suspects were arrested in the last one year.

 

In its bid to encourage the security agencies, Sanwo-Olu also promised to donate additional 25 patrol vehicles to the police in order to enhance security across the State.

 

These were some of the highlights of the 16th edition of the annual Town Hall Security of the LSSTF at Victoria Island, Lagos.

 

This year’s edition had the theme, ‘LSSTF Stewardship: A review of our activities in line with the THEMES Agenda of the Lagos State Goverment.’

 

In his address, Sanwo-Olu said, “As you all know, the Lagos State Security Trust Fund, LSSTF is at the forefront of our security efforts. Through the Fund we have continued to provide interventions for operational capacity, training and logistics for the police and all security agencies operating in Lagos State.

 

“Our efforts have yielded results as Lagos remains largely safe. In the last three and a half years, we have continued to maintain the Lagos record of Zero Bank Robbery in our State. Let us be clear that we are not yet where we would like to be, but we are certain we can and we will get there.

 

“We must always remember that there is no society that is free from crime and criminality; even the most advanced nations still have to contend with all forms of crimes and threats. What we all must continue to do is to press forward and strive to ensure that risks are properly addressed, threats are contained, that deterrent measures are in place, and that every investment necessary for a safer society is made as at when due.”

 

While noting that the national security architecture needs urgent review, the Governor added, “We must make the best of the current circumstances, and the limitations that come with it.”

 

The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Mr Abiodun Alade, said, “Out of the 170 robbery incidents carried out by the hoodlums, 149 were foiled while 21 were successful with 146 suspects arrested in connection with the crimes. 128 among the armed robbery suspects arrested have been charged to court while investigation into the cases involving others is ongoing. In the same vein, 52 cases of cults related cases and arrest of 240 cultists were recorded during the period.

 

“The major challenge confronting the Command is inadequate patrol vehicles Though, the Command acknowledged Mr Governor, LSSTF, members of the National/State Assemblies, Local Government/ LCDAS Chairmen and other spirited individuals for their support to the Command. However, many of the patrol vehicles attached to the divisions have become unserviceable due to old age and constant usage. Another challenge is the frequent breakdown of the Command’s communication system/repeaters, thus, hindering operations prompt and effective response to distress call.”

 

While giving a report on the activities of the LSSTF in the last one year, the Executive Secretary of the Fund, Dr Abdurrazaq Balogun said because of the COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown, the Fund had to restratigize in order to improve safety and security in the State.

 

Balogun noted, “The year 2022 has been a very challenging year as we only received a paltry cash sum of N153,000,000.00 in donations as at 1st of November 2022 with no single donation in kind. This is the worst in the history of the Fund.”

 

The Executive Secretary expressed displeasure over the drop in the donation, adding it was worse than what the Fund received during pandemic period.

 

In his welcome address, the Chairman Board of Trustees LSSTF, Kehinde Durosimi-Etti said, “We all agree that security is essential to all human activity and a requirement for socioeconomic development and growth. This is the reason why the Lagos State Government and the Fund continue to play a major role in providing resources for Federal Security agencies.

 

“It appears that 2022 not only continued in the path of its challenging preceding years of 2020 and 2021. It was even more trying with the volatile foreign exchange rates and global supply chain disruptions.”

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