The Ogun State Security Trust Fund Board on Sunday raised a sum of N1bn to combat insecurity in the state.
The Board was inaugurated on August 24 by the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun on the basis that the state was vulnerable to all forms of attacks as a result of its proximity to three other states.
Governor Abiodun while speaking during the stakeholders’ dinner organised by the Board urged all stakeholders in the state to be involved in security issues.
The governor dropped the hint that governours of the South-West states have agreed to set up a joint patrol team, to be known as ‘Amotekun’ in the region.
The governor decried lack of communication system for security agencies in the state, noting that it was bad that the lack of a proper communication system had stalled proper communication between security chiefs in the state.
“We need more equipment, we do not have any telecommunication equipment, we need monitoring and tracking devices because it is with these monitoring and tracking devices that we can monitor and track these criminals.
“It is shameful that our security agencies do not have a communication system or equipment within the state, meaning that the commissioner of police cannot speak with his counterpart in the military, Department of State Services or even worse still, he cannot speak with his Area commander, Divisional Police Officers of police stations across the state. Their vehicles were not functioning very well; no tracking devices, no enough finance, so, we are looking at correcting those anomalies with our security trust fund.
“The vehicles need to be maintained. The officers need to be looking after. To these, we have come to you to assist us so that we can ensure that not only do we have the funding but that this is also sustained,” Abiodun said.
The State helmsman reiterated that his administration has put in place initiatives to stimulate the local economy and empower the youths to be useful to themselves and the society, maintaining that there was a nexus between economic development, unemployment, illiteracy and insecurity.
While pleading with the corporate bodies and other stakeholders to join hands with the government in addressing challenges poise by insecurity, the Governor said security matters should be the responsibility of all, as the government could not do it alone.
He assured investors that fund realised through the security trust fund would be judiciously used, saying that the board has “people with integrity and a name to protect.”
He disclosed that the state government would soon start a resident registration exercise, which is aimed at having a proper laid down plan for the provision of necessary amenities for the people of the state likewise to fight insecurity.
The registration exercise, he said, was important as it would help the state government have a database of its residents and help in providing the necessary amenities for the use of the people of the state.
Prince Abiodun said the decision to launch ‘Amotekun’ by the five south-west states was meant to ensure the security of the entire region.
According to him, each state in the region is to donate 20 patrol vehicles and communication equipment for the take-off of the joint security patrol team.
Governor Abiodun added that the states are also to provide personnel for the task force to operate effectively.
He said: “In conjunction with the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, the five Southwest states have agreed to set up a joint patrol team that will be called ‘Amotekun’.
“Each of the states is required to donate at least 20 patrol vehicles, communication equipment and personnel to the task force. The personnel will be gotten from the Police, Army, Vigilante and Hunters.”
Also speaking, Chairman of the Fund, Mr. Bolaji Balogun, said the Trust Fund, established in 2011 and amended in 2019, was saddle with the responsibility of among other things, managing, procuring and maintaining security equipment, promote efficiency of all security agencies and manage resources in a transparent and accountable manner for the purpose of public security.
Balogun also added that the board will avail stakeholders an opportunity to have quarterly reports of programmes, adding that the board will be open to auditing of its accounts to show to the people that they were truly there to serve.
He said to attract the right investment and business to the State, it was imperative to secure the environment, adding that members were carefully chosen from the private sector to raise and utilise the fund to provide security services with necessary tool, assuring that money realised, would not go into the state purse.