The Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, says the state government spent over N15bn in 2016 to beef up security and ensure the safety of lives and property.
Governor Ambode added that security being one of the tripods upon which the administration is built has improved drastically since he assumed office.
He attributed the development to the sustainability of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), a template he said has helped to champion the funding of security agencies to carry out effective policing across the state.
The governor made the disclosure on Friday evening at a dinner held in honour of the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, who was on a two-day working visit to the state.
“Like the IGP said yesterday (Thursday), the template of which we are using to run the Security Trust Fund is worthy of emulation and he has also averred that they would like to replicate it in other parts of the country and also for men of the Nigeria Police Force.”
Ambode noted that the trust fund has gotten serious buy-in by the public, revealing that out of the N15bn spent on security in 2016, the private sector contributed over N5bn.
He further commended the efforts of the Chairman of the LSSTF and former Inspector General of Police, Mr Musiliu Smith, saying that the model he midwived in 2007 has changed the face of security in the state.
“That same template that he (Smith) brought to Lagos that we have continued to use in the last 14 years, it’s been working and in different forums, he has shared how he started it and how we have also improved on it.
“Just to give you a very clear example, as at last year, we have spent as a government close to the region of N10bn but the private sector has actually contributed more than N5bn of their own money into the Security Trust Fund,” he added.
Governor Ambode stressed the importance of security to the development of Nigeria’s economy and assured the police and other security agencies of the government’s continued support.
Earlier, IGP Idris said that despite the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos State which has made policing difficult, officers posted to Lagos were enjoying the very best in terms of equipment and welfare.
He added that the visit afforded him the opportunity to learn more strategies adopted by the state government in the business of securing lives and property.
“Like I said, Lagos has been a sort of pace setting state for us; it has given some areas that we are tapping from. What I want to say is that possibly by the time we want to implement the Security Trust Fund, we are still going to tap from one of the Lagosians here, a retired Inspector General, for us to gain from his wisdom in that area”.