By Segun Ajayi
It is no longer news that one of the pillars of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration is security and good governance. Security is pivotal to good governance and the survival of societies rests principally on both.
The 1999 constitution recognises the sanctity of citizen’s security and welfare in Section 14(2) (b) which states that the “security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”. These are two inter-related wings with which the current administration in Lagos is flying.
Last year December, Governor Sanwo-Olu pledged N7 billion to the state’s Security Trust Fund. This was during the 17th Annual Town Hall Meeting of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund with the theme, ‘Security Complexities and Convergence: The Lagos Imperative’. It was the state’s planned support for the fund initiative.
Also included in the package, according the governor, was the provision of 300 operational vehicles to boost logistic operations of security operatives across the state.
The governor’s pledge received a boost from oil industry magnate, Mr. Femi Otedola, who presented a cheque of NI billion to support the fund. Otedola was represented by his daughter, Tolani during the formal presentation of the cheque to the governor, which further cemented the existing collaboration between the public sector and private philanthropy in funding security.
For a police institution bedeviled by logistic deficits, the gestures from the government and Otedola came in handy even as the two-decade synergy between government and public sector continued to yield dividends. For instance, one of the major breakthrough of the top-notch security framework of the state is the zero bank robbery recorded in Lagos in the last four years. This is aside the depth of intelligence of different arms of the state’s security infrastructure. Among the low hanging fruits is swift arrival at crime scenes and responses to threats to public safety. However, more resources and intelligence need to be employed to spasmodic incidents of kidnapping in the Lekki-Ajah axis of the state and curbing the menace of “one-chance robbers in Lagos”.
In a related development, the state government recently flaunted its unflinching commitment to the payment of pension and gratuity to its retirees in the last five years. The Commissioner for Establishments, Training, and Pension, Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo disclosed that N57.7 billion has been paid as pension benefits to 16,340 retirees since the beginning of Sanwo-Olu administration in May 2019.
The information was shared during the 102 Retirement Presentation hosted by the Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC). According to Ayantayo, recipients of the benefits comprise retirees from the mainstream, local government, state’s Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) and various state government parastatals.
This gesture validates Lagos as a frontrunner state and its determination to bring succour to citizens who served the state meritoriously and conscientiously during their active years. Ayantayo also underlined the state’s frontline position in the administration of Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) since its initiation in 2007 and in honouring pension obligations to retirees.
| Ajayi, a public affairs commentator, writes from Lagos