President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said that priority attention would be given to the recruitment, training, equipping, logistics and welfare of the Nigeria police in line with international best practices.
Buhari made the assertion at the inauguration and handing over of security equipment worth N4.8 billion by the Lagos State government to the state police command.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazau, commended the state government for the gesture.
“On its part, the Federal Government will continue to support and strengthen our security agencies to discharge their responsibilities optimally.
“Our vision is to ensure that the security forces are given the best we can offer,’’ Buhari said.
The equipment include three helicopters, two gun boats, 115 power bikes, 65 pick-up vans, 100 cars and trucks.
Others are 15 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), revolving lights, siren, bullet proof vests, helmets, handcuffs, uniforms, improved insurance and death benefits schemes among others.
Buhari noted that Lagos State had recently experienced a surge in armed robbery and other sundry crimes, hence the need for the intervention.
“By this intervention therefore, Lagos State government has risen to the occasion by assisting the Nigeria police with the wherewithal to curb crimes within its domain.
“This is indeed a remarkable achievement toward improving the security of lives of property in line with the change mantra of this government,’’ he said.
He enjoined other states to emulate the gesture by supporting security agencies as they strive to keep the country safe.
The president said that Nigeria was currently witnessing myriads of security challenges ranging from terrorism, separatist movements, kidnapping, militancy and armed robbery among others.
He noted that addressing these challenges called for collaboration among critical stakeholders.
“Equally important is the need to address social, economic and cultural factors contributing to the delinquency among youths who constitute majority of the worst offenders,’’ he said.
He therefore, called on youths to shun acts that were inimical to peace and stability of the nation.
“I hope that the Nigeria police will find these equipment extremely beneficial to its current and future operations.
“Hence, concerted efforts must be made to ensure their longevity through efficient maintenance culture to justify the huge resources spent in acquiring them,’’ Buhari said.
Buhari charged the leadership of the Nigeria Police to see the donation as a clarion call to decisively deal with crimes, particularly the menace of armed robbery threatening residents.
Earlier, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said that it had become compelling to re-energise the security infrastructure in meeting with recent trends in terror attacks all over the world.
Ambode said that 50 percent of the amount used in acquiring the equipment came from lottery revenues of the state.
He said that the vehicles and equipment would enable the command to effectively cover every part of the state and respond to distress calls faster.
“To the officers of the Lagos State Police Command, we say to whom much is given, much is expected.
“Law enforcement officers are never off duty; they are dedicated public servants who are sworn to protect the public at any time and place.
“Lagosians will not accept excuses,’’ he said.
Also, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, in his address said that the state presented a unique security challenge as the commercial heartbeat of the nation.
He said: “I can assure the governor that the huge investment in the procurement of this security items will not be in vain.
“For by this gesture, you have motivated us.
“You have also assured us that as we work hand in hand as security agents to advance your vision for safe and secure Lagos State, you as the chief security officer of the state will be by us, meet our needs and give us the leverage to succeed.
“You have challenged us by this gesture and I can assure you that we shall not fail you as we appreciate that to whom much is given, much is expected’’. (NAN)