The executive secretary/CEO of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), Abdurrazag Balogun, has disclosed that the state will require nothing less than N15 billion every year to ensure effective security of the state.
“For this office to run for a good security system; I need nothing less than N15 billion a year, and that’s being modest,” Balogun said, during the press conference held on Wednesday 6 December 2023, ahead of its 17th annual town hall meeting on security with the state’s governor scheduled for Tuesday 12 December 2023.
According to him, the current foreign exchange crisis on the back of the country’s inflationary trend has eroded most of the financial support it gets from the public.
Balogun disclosed that a vehicle that used to be N3.5 million before now cost the LSSTF about N40 million. “Even when we try to procure some of these things, the government will not give us waivers,” he said.
According to him, successive governors of the state have been on point with the security trust fund, which has kept the LSSTF going in the last 17 years.
Balogun said further that LSSTF believes in preventive exercise when it comes to security issues of the state, and is not reactive. Hence, the fund provides support to all the security agencies in Lagos.
He also advocated for a new funding model capable of creating a pull of funds for the LSSTF. “Going forward to the 17th town hall meeting again, this conversation will be highlighted and I am sure with time we are going to take a very decisive step towards better funding for our security agencies in Lagos state,” he said.
According to him, the state has to move away from the current funding model that makes donations voluntary. “As long as we still run a voluntary donation programme – then it is the prerogative of the people to donate or not to donate, and you can’t force it. You can just continue to try”.
Balogun also disclosed that there is a need to overhaul the current security architecture in the state and that Nigerians need to have a rebirth to be more patriotic. “Nigerians must understand that we owe this country some level of patriotism,” he said.
According to him, Lagos has always been a forward-looking state in terms of intelligence gathering, especially with the creation of the Neighbourhood Security Corps because of the understanding that all crimes are local and that crimes emanate from locations.