By Dipo Awojobi – President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday commissioned series of projects in Lagos, with a verdict the State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, has performed commendably in one year.
Mr. Buhari, who was represented at the events by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said that Lagos State under Governor Ambode has continued to maintain its leading role in delivering good governance to the people.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency Response Unit in Cappa area of Oshodi, his first point of call, Buhari described the facility as not only the first of its kind in Nigeria, but one that would go a long way to improve response time during emergency situations.
He said: “With this special rescue unit, it is evident that we have moved a notch higher. There is no question at all that this facility is a world class facility.”
The LASEMA Response Unit boasts of an initial acquisition of 51 equipment, including three Forklifts, one Crane, 13 trucks, 10 Paramedic Motorbikes, two Fire Trucks and Ambulances, among others.
Mr. Buhari, who later commissioned the Ago Palace Way, Okota, described the initiative of the State Government to build the road as a fantastic idea, saying the road was an important economic road that would promote trade and investment and enhance movement along that corridor.
The Ago Palace Way is a link road that connects about four local governments and providing a viable alternative route for motorists trying to access Festac, Mile 2 and Apapa areas of the State with ease thereby reducing travel time.
At the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, where he handed over security equipment purchased by the State Government to the tune of N1.85 billion, the President said that it was a testament to the premium the administration of Governor Ambode has placed on safety of lives and property of its citizenry.
Among the equipment commissioned were 140 brand new Ford Ranger Pick-Ups and 335 Power Bikes fitted with communication gadgets, Helmets, Bullet Proof vests and other kits.
The President said: “I have also seen already so much attention being paid to security and just earlier on we were at the LASEMA rescue operation unit which we just commissioned.
“Also here, we are about to commission several security equipment donation to the police and security agencies. In fact virtually all the security agencies including immigrations and Customs including NDLEA are to benefit from this latest gift of the Lagos State Government.”
He said the State Government was blazing the trail with several commendable projects, including the two roads being constructed in each of the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas of the State.
He said: “I must also say that I am impressed with the fact that the whole effort at security is an integrated one and so we have the Light Up Lagos being an important component of that whole effort. I want to say that the Governor of this State deserves our commendation and all of the praise and support that he is getting.”
Mr. Buhari promised that the Federal Government would continue to support the State Government to actualise several projects, noting that the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Lagos-Kano and Lagos-Calabar are projects embedded in the 2016 Budget which would benefit the State immensely.
In his remarks, Mr. Ambode said the LASEMA Response Unit, aside the initial goal to significantly bring down response time by responders, the State Government is working tirelessly to roll out dispatch centres across key areas within the State with the goal of further reducing response times.
The Governor, who also spoke at the commissioning of the security equipment, said it was in further demonstration of his administration’s resolve to strengthen the capacity of the security agencies.
He said the vehicles and equipment would be distributed among the 107 Police Stations and 13 Police Area Commands in Lagos State and all the security agencies would also be beneficiaries of the equipment.
The Governor said: “These items are critical facilities required to address security and emergency challenges peculiar to modern city States like ours. It is our expectation that all these efforts, in addition to the ‘Light Up Lagos’ initiative and the Smart-City project, will guarantee a safer and more secure environment for business and leisure.”
Mr. Ambode also said aside upscaling the security infrastructure, his administration was also giving attention to the welfare of the security personnel through payment of allowances and provision of insurance facilities to compensate for any unfortunate incident while on active duty.
“In addition, officers and men who demonstrate bravery, gallantry and high level commitment to duty are being acknowledged and appropriately rewarded,” he said.
Responding on behalf of all the security agencies, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, thanked Governor Ambode for the security equipment and promised that they would be put to optimal use.
Mr. Arase, who recalled that the security equipment was the second donation within six months by Governor Ambode, said the donation has led to the reduction of crime in the State.
He said: “When you (Governor Ambode) gave us the first set of equipment, I did promise you that to whom much is given, much is expected and the officers and men of the Command have worked tirelessly and assiduously to ensure that the crime rate in Lagos is within tolerable limit that will attract foreign direct investment and other investment in the State.
“I can’t thank you enough but I can also promise you today that we are not going to rest on our oars. We will continue to work and ensure that the peace and stability of Lagos State is guaranteed.”