Funmi Olaitan, Ibadan
Towards enhancing the security architecture of Ibadan, Oyo State capital, the state government has commenced installation of close circuit television (CCTV) cameras in some black spots and business districts in the city.
Executive Secretary of the State Security Trust Fund (OYSSTF), Mr. Femi Oyedipe, who made the disclosure in a statement issued in Ibadan, also announced the introduction of call centres and toll free lines through which security agencies would be receiving useful security information from members of the public at no cost to them.
He stated that government had commenced collection of security levy from business premises, churches, mosques and corporate organizations in the state, with an estimated income of about N2b annually, adding that government had started a project christened “Light Up Ibadan” through which street light would be installed in major roads within the city.
According to him, all these are parts of the Safe City Project being executed by the state government to enhance the security apparatus of the state in terms of logistics and technical capabilities as well as nip crime and criminality in the bud.
Oyedipe said CCTV cameras had already been installed in some areas in Ibadan metropolis, adding that the project would soon be extended to other areas and business districts in the city.
The Executive Secretary said the security levy, expected to be paid by business premises, private schools, churches, mosques and associations amongst others, had already taken off in four local government areas of Ibadan.
Listing the local government areas to include Ibadan North-East, Ibadan North-West, Ibadan South-West and Ibadan North, he lauded the affected corporate bodies for their response rate to the clarion call by government for them to partner with it in its efforts at providing adequate security for the lives and property of the citizenry.
He said:, ``It is apparent that government no government can single-handedly shoulder the huge responsibility of funding security. That was why the Governor Abiola Ajimobi-led administration decided to set up the Oyo State Security Trust Fund in 2012 to serve as an avenue through which funds could be raised for the improvement of the security architecture of the state.
``It is also in furtherance of this that government introduced one per cent security tax on all the contracts executed on behalf of state government. This has also assisted the Security Trust Fund in the past years.
``I am convinced that by the time the security levy is spread to all the local governments across the state, close to N2 billion would be raked in annually and this would complement government’s efforts in the provision of security.’’
Oyedipe pointed out that a large expanse of land had been set aside at Trans Amusement Park in Ibadan for the siting of solar power for the ‘’Light Up Ibadan’’ project which, he said, would gulp about N750 million.
He said the project, which would be done in phases, had received a boost from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the donation of N50 million while other commercial banks had also assisted the state government with the sum of N250 million.
The Executive Secretary said the Trust Fund had donated 2,000 safety helmets to commercial motorcycle riders across the state while regular repairs were being carried out on the operational vehicles of the various security agencies and the state security outfit codenamed ‘’Operational Burst’’ to enhance their efficiency.
Oyedipe assured the people of the state that government would continue to do its best to ensure that their lives and property were secured through a well coordinated security arrangement and public-private partnership in security funding.