Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Saturday, stated that the state had only 33, 000 policemen providing security for more than 20 million residents.
The governor who spoke at the closing session of the four-day leadership retreat for the state’s executive council, permanent secretaries as well as some heads of parastatals, urged the police to improve on their mode of operations to ensure the safety of lives and property in the state.
Ambode also urged the State Police Command to step up their surveillance in the state and come up with new strategies to tackle the wave of criminal activities in the state.
“We’re not yet where we want to be. We have only just 33, 000 policemen in Lagos for a population of over 20 million. Again, we don’t have control over these police officers. We need to let the Commissioner of Police leave this retreat believing that the Police need to own their own business just the way we have told ourselves that we want to own the business of governance. We need to see some things change. There has to be some form of paradigm shift; we want to see our police officers patrol in convoy between 12 midnight and 4am.
“People must see improvement on it. That’s why on our part, we have gone out of our budget limits, using our resources from the Security Trust Fund, to say that, yes, it might not be within our budget, but we would spend money to support the Police because if the state is safe, the economy will thrive”, the governor said.
According to a statement issued on Saturday by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, Ambode, who spoke shortly after the Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni addressed participants at the retreat, also pledged the support of his administration towards effective policing of the state.
He, however, said the resources ploughed into securing the state must reflect in the reduction of criminal activities.
Governor Ambode also charged his team to take the lessons learnt from the retreat and make a commitment to implement them in their various ministries, departments and agencies so as to better the lot of the people of the state.
He said the resolutions reached at the retreat will be brought before the weekly State Executive Council Meeting to ensure that they are implemented to the letter.