Lagos State being the Wall Street of Nigeria is the focal point of business activities in the nation. As it is a strong magnetic force to the business people who come from all parts of the world, it also attracts criminals and social miscreants… This tendency highlights the reason for high criminal activities in the major cities of the world like New York City and Johannesburg. It is almost impossible to have a crime-free society in a city with people from diverse races, cultures, backgrounds, beliefs and motives. As a city like Lagos thrives based on the income and taxes of the businesses it contains, it is therefore important for those in governance to ensure the security of the lives of its citizens and the people who help to sustain it. It is therefore imperative for every sitting administration to find ways of protecting its people.
In Lagos State there are about 33,000 police officers spread over eight area commands and 84 divisional headquarters to police the 8 million people resident in it. This statistic indicates a ratio of 1 police officer to 600 people. This is a poor combination though due to the numbers of police officers assigned to the state, consequently the solution was to make the already existing ones more effective by providing them with materials and finance needed for the effective discharge of their duties. This led to the implementation of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund. Governor Tunde Fashola can indeed take a gaze at the Lagos State’s Security Trust Fund and its achievements so far and describe Lagos as one of the safest cities in Africa.
The Fund has set new targets and new challenges not only in terms of the size of the police force but also in its ability to respond to emergencies that threaten day-to-day life of the people such as accidents, disasters, explosions and other such emergencies. The Fund is also to provide more helicopters dedicated to hunt down criminals who choose to ply their trade through the waterways. The Security Trust Fund has till date donated five flying boats to the marine Police. It has also provided the Lagos State Police Command with 10 armoured personnel carriers, 300 patrol vans with communication gadgets, one millions rounds of live AK47 ammunition and 10 BMW power bikes. It has also been involved in the payment of allowance for members of the RRS, and fuelling of the patrol vans. The increase in the State’s Security operation has radically dropped crime rates as the state only recorded 6 kidnap cases in 2008, while 15 were recorded in 2009, and it is even more interesting to learn that the kidnap cases were solved by the police without any ransom paid.
Armoured tanks are stationed at chaotic hotspots round the city to curtail the activities of social miscreants. Some of the places with the armoured tanks station include Owode axis of Ikorodu, The former highly volatile Oshodi, Iyana-Ipaja, Ikeja and some other parts of the city. The city also procured two helicopters, which are customized for emergency evacuation, aerial security survey and quick response from Bell Corporation.
Due to the cost of maintaining law and order, the challenge of the Fund is sustainability. It is therefore necessary to appeal to the individuals, corporate bodies and organizations that have made this project possible to keep up with the good work. Everyone can testify to the relief found in having a good and workable security approach for the city. Every man’s greatest fear is failure, and when he overcomes failure to achieve success, his greatest fear becomes security.
“If you think security is expensive, reflect on the cost of the absence of security.”