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Brief:Lagos State Security Trust Fund

Creation of LSSTF

The Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) was established by a Law of the Lagos State House of Assembly in September 2007 as a direct response to the security challenges in the State. The establishment of the LSSTF became imperative after the State Governor received and reviewed the report of a high powered Security Committee which it established under the chairmanship of the former Inspector General of Police, to look into ways and means of combating the growing menace of violent crimes in the state and the seeming inability of the police and other security agencies to confront this challenge in spite of their best endeavors.

The report made it crystal clear that the problem was essentially related to logistics, mobility, communications, kitting and so on especially when considering the peculiar security challenges in the state. It was the finding of the Security committee that a minimum of N3.7B was required to provide standard security cover for Lagos State including the waterways. This deficit was due to the several years of underfunding of the police especially during the military regime by the Federal Government. It must be pointed out that security is the exclusive responsibility of the Federal Government but Lagos State has gone ahead to support these agencies to ensure security of its citizens.

Why a Trust Fund

The idea of creating a Trust Fund was to source for funds from government, private organizations and individuals in order to meet the operational capacity needs of security agencies particularly in the areas of logistics and provision of crime fighting equipment in the effective discharge of their duties. This is because security agencies have suffered long years of neglect by the Federal Government whose primary responsibility it is to fund them.

It is important to note that the Fund does not receive any subvention form government; rather government makes donations in kind to the Fund. The Fund also ensures that all donations are properly accounted for and that its operations are transparent. In addition, the account of the Trust Fund is audited by International Auditing Firms (currently Ernst & Young) and published annually for public information at the yearly Town Hall Meetings on Security with the Governor where the LSSTF renders its account of stewardship.

The State Government adopted a Public Private Partnership (PPP) business model for the governance and financial operations of the Trust Fund due to the energy and expertise that exists in the private sector and for timely security interventions devoid of bureaucratic bottlenecks.

Objectives of the Fund

The objectives of the Fund, as contained by the Law establishing it, are to raise money through voluntary donations from government Ministries/Department/Agencies, private organizations and individuals. In other words, the Fund is strictly donor-funded and monies raised are used for the acquisition and deployment of security equipment and such human, material, and financial resources as shall be found necessary for the effective functioning of all security agencies operating in Lagos State.

The LSSTF law provides that some of the funds shall be reserved for the training and retraining of security personnel. One of the primary responsibilities of the Fund is the provision of operational and logistic support for the Rapid Response Squad (RRS).

The Board of Trustees of the Fund, though appointed by the Governor, are mainly (80%) from the private sector and operate independently of government.

They are notable members of the business community in the state that use their goodwill to attract donations to the Fund. As such the Board accepts their appointment as an opportunity to give back to the state.