By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Monday hinted that Oyo State Security Trust Fund (OYSSTF) is to implement a compulsory security levy across Oyo State.
The governor dropped this hint in Ibadan while speaking at a town hall meeting entitled: ‘Public-Private Partnership in Security Funding: Introduction of Security Levy in Oyo State,’ organised by OYSSTF at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Secretariat,
Speaking through his Deputy Governor, Otunba Moses Adeyemo, Governor Ajimobi declared that the levy will enable Oyo state as well allow corporate bodies, individuals and all residents across the state to contribute to the security of the state.
“For the furtherance of our agenda on safety and security, we have embraced the safe city project, which will proffer cutting edge solutions that will nip crime and criminality in the bud, especially in our major townships. We are currently installing closed circuit television (CCTV) in black spots and business districts in the city to enhance our security architecture. I ask all the stakeholders to ensure successful implementation of the security levy collection exercise that is to commence shortly.” he said.
Governor Ajimobi emphasized that the security levy was introduced “to ensure that all stakeholders fulfill their roles as responsible citizens of the state and by contributing their quota to the prevailing peaceful atmosphere in Oyo State.”.
“It is not in doubt that our security agencies have faced a serious shortfall in funding. Funding Oyo State Security Trust Fund is the key to achieving all these goals. On our part, this hover has granted a one per cent security tax on all contracts executed on behalf of the state government, and I am also aware that these deductions have assisted the Fund in the past year”.
Speaking further, the governor steessed that the agitation for
state police should be seen as a step in the right direction, saying, the present security of ” federal structure of security agencies is not sustainable.” and that the existing structure in the state should be strengthened and not abandoned
Governor Ajimobi maintained that in more than six years, his administration has been able to achieve peace and security,adding “we did not only dream about the desire to make the people of Oyo State sleep with their two eyes firmly shut, we have achieved it. We have reined in the rapacious drivers’ unions and clamped down on all brigands in the state.”
“We inaugurated the joint security outfit codenamed ‘Operation Burst’ with six zonal commands. To give the outfit the needed bite, we procured armoured personnel carriers, a fleet of patrol vehicles and equipped them with state-of-the-earth communication equipment for their operations.”
He added that “to enlist the support of stakeholders, we went a step further by floating the Oyo State Security Trust Fund to raise funds for the improvement of the security architecture of the state. The result of these efforts is a drastic reduction in crime rate and civil unrest manifesting in no major crime or robbery in the last six years”.
In his remark, the Chairman of OYSSTF, Chief Bayo Adelabu, said the security fund would transform the security apparatus in the state from being a reactionary one to an anticipatory one.
“ This vision can be achieved only if there is an upward review in funding of areas such as rehabilitation of existing barracks and quarters, procurement of arms and ammunition, purchase of vehicles, helicopters, surveillance cameras and maintenance of existing stocks as well as procurement of kits and basic equipment for officers.” he said
According to Chief Adelabu, OYSSTF has donated 66 Hilux vans to security agencies as well as ensuring the establishment of forensic laboratories and upgrade of all police stations across the state to be information technology compliant, as provided for in the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
“A proper fund base is needed for this transformation and the security level will be tailor-made to suit the economic profile of Oyo State. With proper fund base, Oyo State Security Trust Fund will channel these funds to the weak spots within the state security apparatus.”