Nigeria’s Minister of Interior, Lt. General Abdulrahman Dambazau (Rtd.) on Wednesday described the security equipment purchased by the Lagos State Government for the Police as unprecedented in the history of Nigeria and a sign of seriousness about the security of lives and property of residents.
Dambazau, who said this at the Lagos House in Ikeja during a courtesy visit on the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, said with his years of experience as a military officer, he had never seen that kind of massive investment in security by a State Government, and as such the present administration deserves to be commended for taking the bold initiative to give priority to the safety of the people.
Governor Ambode, it would be recalled, had donated equipment worth N4.8 billion to the police including three helicopters, patrol vehicles, gun boats, power bikes, among others.
The Minister, who is in Lagos on a three-day tour of facilities and infrastructure of security agencies in the state, said Lagos State is the vanguard of support for the Ministry of Interior, adding that the gesture of the State Government was very well noted and appreciated.
He said: “I’m here with all my service heads. We are here on tour of the facilities of the Ministry of Interior. The Ministry, as you know, is the hub of public safety and security in this country. Everything that has to do with public internal security and public safety is our responsibility.
“We know that Lagos State is the vanguard in support of the Ministry of Interior. I was here few months back when the State Government donated security equipment to the police. I have never seen that done before and so we really want to urge the government and the good people of Lagos State to continue to support us and we assure that we would carry out our mandate in a way that the people will be happy,” Dambazau said.
While acknowledging the efforts being put in place by Governor Ambode to develop the State, the Minister said it was also very important to note that there cannot be development without security, as both complement each other.
Responding, Governor Ambode thanked Dambazau for being part of the historic donation of security equipment to the police, and pledged to support other security agencies in the state to boost security apparatus in the state.
The Governor specifically sought the support of Dambazau on how to facilitate on partnership between the Federal Government and Lagos State especially in combating the frequent fire disasters in the state and reducing the influx of illegal immigrants in the state, as well as the relocation of the Ikoyi Prisons.
The Governor said there was a need for the Federal Fire Service to collaborate with the State Fire Service to jointly combat fire disasters, and that there was a strong need as well for the Minister to revisit the agreement on the relocation of Ikoyi Prison, as the State Government was willing to provide land for construction of a modern day structure for the prison.
Governor Ambode, who said the partnership between the State Government and Federal Government was more about development of the country because Lagos mirrors Nigeria, further sought collaboration of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) as well as the Nigerian Legion in protecting public utilities in the state.
The Governor said: “Like the Minister rightly said, without security, there cannot be any development. I want to let you know that this administration is driven on tripod of action plan of security, job creation, investment opportunities and infrastructure development.
“We believe strongly that if we have a secured state, we will be able to create a platform for job opportunities for the people and where we are able to do that, we are inviting local and foreign investors to the state. We will also be able to use the taxes we get on those jobs to improve on the infrastructure in the state. So, that is the tripod that the administration is built upon.
“I want to say that the real cornerstone is more about the internal safety and security of lives and property in the state and we have not minced any word in sending that message across on a daily basis. We are committed to the security of lives and property in the state and we will do everything to ensure that we support all the agencies that are under your ministry because that is what is going to assist us in developing the state and actually create jobs for our people,” Governor Ambode said.