In a bid to strengthen the security situation in Lagos, members of the State House of Assembly yesterday approved a sum of N700 million for the purchase 10 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs).
The decision was taken after a deliberating on a letter sent to the House by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Bayo Sodade requesting the House to approve the fund for the purchase of the APC from the Local Government Intervention Fund (LGIF). The Permanent Secretary, who in the letter claimed that the state governor, Babatunde Fashola had approved the purchase of the 10 APCs, explained that the purchase of the APCs was necessary to enhance security in the state.
However, members while deliberating on the letter wondered why the source of the fund should be the Local Government Intervention Fund, suggesting that “instead of taking the fund from the LGIF, it should be sourced from the State Security Trust Fund”.
According to Mudashiru Obasa from Agege 1 Constituency, “if the fund is taken from the LGIF, it would affect development in all the local government areas within the state.” Bisi Yussuf from Alimosho 1 Constituency said “If APCs are purchased and the roads are bad, the APCs will have no access to our places.
The LGIF is meant for the development of every local government in the state. “So if you take money from LGIF for procurement of APCs and the roads are bad, it is as good as useless. So we can’t deduct from the money meant for the development of infrastructure.”On their parts, Lanre Oshun and Wahab Alawiye-King from Lagos Mainland 2 and Lagos Island respectively, differed from others, maintaining that security issue throughout the country is something paramount.
They maintained that such issue should not be treated with levity, considering the threat to security in the country at the moment, which involved bombing by the Boko Haram sect. Also the Deputy Speaker, Taiwo Kolawole said, “due to the security situation in the country, I think we should allow this to go, but we must at the same time prevent a future occurrence”.
The Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, however, said “the approval by the governor should be seen as a donation to the police to protect lives and property of the citizens. It is an intervention by the state government.
“In the spirit of one secured Lagos, I would suggest that since this is the first request from the executive arm and due to the promise we made that we will support the arm, we should approve the money,” she said.