That Lagos State is now considered the ‘safest state’ in Nigeria, is no more news nor in doubt.
What is news however, is how this feat was achieved and who are the star players in writing this historic chapter in the affairs of the the mega city.
It was not a feat achieved by the stroke of a pen by a copy writer. Rather, it was achieved through the power of vision and responsible corporate citizenship exhibited by the then State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola in 2007 who through a deft Public Private Partnership Arrangement (PPA) sought the support of the private sector, especially the Banks to set up a special security Fund to provide the security agencies with the required infrastructure, fire power and motivation to confront incessant robbery cases and violent crimes that almost brought Lagos to its knees then.
And the Nigerian Bank’s responded to the call and as is usual with their corporate citizenship and responsiveness, drove the idea, brought it to fruition and contributed immensely by funding it heavily to ensure its sustainability till this day.
Today, the Fund, named, Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) first of its kind, according to its Chairman, Board of Trustees, Mr. Oye Hassan-Odukale, “has become a source of succour to Lagosians and a shinning example of an endearing Public Private Partnership in the country as a whole”.
“Such that State Government and even the federal government have sought to understudy the Fund so as to replicate it. In fact, a number of States have already set up their own security Trust Fund and a bill to establish that of the Federal Government is at the National Assembly at the moment, the LSSTF Chairman, disclosed.
At 10th Anniversary of the Fund and 11th Security Townhall Meeting with the Governor which held at the banquet hall esconsed in the Governor’s Office, Ikeja, 5 Banks and 2 other top brands were specially recognised as Platinum contributors and Top Donors to the Fund by the State government and LSSTF which by no means has greatly impacted the calm and ease with which lives and properties have been secured in the megacity.
The five Banks are: Skye Bank; Zenith; First Bank; Access Bank and UBA. The 5 star lenders are said to have contributed almost N1.5bn into the Fund in the last 10 years.
The two other top brands that joined the 5 five banks are: Dangote Group and MTN Foundation.
And for that rare dedication and uncommon corporate citizenship exhibited by the 5 lenders, the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode handed each of the Banks, platinum prize for their outstanding support to Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), in securing lives and property in Lagos State.