As the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, finetunes plans for the launch of the state’s Security Architecture later in the month, private companies in the state are upbeat about the prospect of having a robust security support structure that will further boost the ease of doing business in the state.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, told journalists in Benin City, the state capital, that feedbacks from the engagements between the governor and private companies in the state, on the security architecture, have been encouraging.
Edo State is host to several companies, namely; Dangote Cement, BUA Cement, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Pan Ocean Oil Corporation, Seplat Petroleum Development Company, Okomu Oil Plc, Presco Plc, Rubber Estates Nigeria Ltd, hotels, steel and ceramic companies, amongst others.
“We are delighted to receive heart-warming response from our development partners who are corporate citizens of the state. As you are aware, security is everybody’s business. Governor Obaseki has set aside N2 billion in the proposed 2019 budget for this initiative and the companies in Benin are queueing behind the governor to ensure that the state is rid of all forms of crimes,” Osagie said.
“The engagement is ongoing and we are reaching out to everyone so that we can bring everyone on board, in the fight against crimes in the state. Our dear state is the most peaceful in the Niger Delta region, but we want to raise the bar, considering our huge investment in the development of an industrial park, a modular refinery and a seaport and the attendant human traffic that these investments will pull to the state,” he added.
According to the governor’s aide, “Already procured for unveiling by the state government are three Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs); ninety (90) patrol vehicles; fifty (50) patrol cars and forty (40) pick-up patrol vans; thirty (30) motorcycles and three ambulances.
“They are all fitted with digital communication equipment for real time information sharing among the various security agencies.”
He said manpower will be drawn from the Nigeria Police Force; the Military; Department of State Services; Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the state’s Public Works Volunteers (PUWOV) scheme.
The governor’s aide explained that 1000 members of PUWOV will support men and women of the various security agencies in executing the goals set in the security blueprint.
“The first batch of two hundred (200) PUWOV personnel are being trained at the Police Training School (PTS), Ogida, and another 800 volunteers will be fit for deployment before the launch date.
“They will be kitted in the approved uniform and will form bulk of the first batch that will be unveiled at the launch date of December 13,” Osagie said.
To kick-start the Security Trust Fund, he said the governor has set aside N2billion in the 2019 proposed budget, which will be supported by private companies in the state and other organisations.
“The Edo State Security Trust Fund is a pool of fund set up by the Obaseki-led administration, which companies, charitable groups and individuals would contribute to, as part of a collective effort to fight crimes,” he added.