Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday appealed to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Idris Ibrahim, to establish two additional police area commands in the state.
The commands, which he wants located in Ikorodu and Badagry, according to him, would be funded by the state government, just as it will go a long way in tackling the nefarious activities of criminally minded-persons.
Ambode made the request when the IGP paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House in Ikeja, yesterday.
His words: “Funding is key to security, but security also is fundamental to the growth of Lagos and its prosperity, so we are ready and committed to support our security agencies, including the navy and the police to ensure we have a safe city where we can be investor friendly and also grow the economy of Nigeria.
“I am ready to fund additional area commands in Lagos, so I am requesting that we should do two additional commands in Lagos, one in Ikorodu and another one in Badagry. There is a need for us to pay more attention to the Ikorodu axis because of the of reports we are getting from there,” the governor said.
The governor thanked the IGP and the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for their interventions in securing the release of the six kidnapped Igbonla Model College students.
He said the incident showed the need to beef up security in the riverine borders between Ondo, Ogun and Lagos states.
Earlier, the IGP commended Ambode for his support to the police command in the state, especially in providing equipment and welfare for officers.
On Ambode’s request to set up two additional Police Area Commands, the IGP said the plan was already ongoing to increase area commands across the country to improve security surveillance and adequately address crime.
Meanwhile, Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, yesterday unveiled the new uniform for Lagos bus conductors.
The minister, who was represented by Director General of Road Transport and Mass Transit Administration, Mrs. Anthonia Ekpa, did the unveiling at the official inauguration of the Bus Conductors Association of Nigeria (BCAN) in Lagos.
Ekpa said it had received notification from the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of the affiliation of BCAN with TUC and promised the new association would get the Federal Government’s support.
She said: “Statistics show that 95 percent of Nigerians use public transport, it is therefore evident that bus transportation operation is very critical not just in Nigeria, but all over the world.
“They must have an operational mode that exhibits service delivery; there must therefore be a change of attitude. This association must let Nigerians know that they are in existence and they must strive to change the negative perception that people have about them.
Regardless, Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Tajudeen Agbede, has called on security operatives in the state to call the leadership of BCAN to order to avoid breakdown of law and order, especially in road transport sector
The NURTW boss stated this while reacting to the official launch of BCAN yesterday at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja
Agbede said the activities of the association if unchecked would lead to break down of law and order, as commercial drivers would protest against any plan to exploit them by any illegal association
He informed the authority that, “the people behind the mushroom association tried under the last administration of former governor Babatunde Fashola and the then commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa, invited us for a meeting and we told him the dangers in the development and the matter died down. But l think these people later went to the Ministry of Commerce. And since then, they have been creating confusion in the industry.
He urged police and men of the State Security Services (SSS) to investigate activities of the people behind association.
“We also want the inclusion of more women as bus conductors because there is nothing that a woman cannot do. The promise that this government is making is that, this association is now documented as a critical stakeholder in the ministry of transport.”
TUC President, Bobboi Kangama confirmed the affiliation of BCAN to it while pledging total support of the union.
He also said it was important that the informal sector be formalised to give it more recognition. He said: “In whatever profession you choose, if you are not organised, you cannot get benefits from the government. The International Labour Organisation believes that if you are an artisan, it should be dignified, that is why we insisted that they have to be regularised and be identified as a contributor to the economy before the government can work with them. With this new arrangement, bus conductors will now undergo trainings, they will have uniforms and identification cards, which will dignify the profession.”
BCAN President, Prince Adeshola, said henceforth, conductors must be registered with BCAN and pass through the Lagos State Driving Institute before he can practice.
“We started the move to regularise the profession eight years ago and I am excited that our efforts have finally paid off. I was a bus conductor for almost 19 years so I know the inner workings of the profession and what conductors go through and I put all those things into consideration while championing for the regularisation.
“With this development, no one can just wake up or come into Lagos and become a conductor. For you to be a conductor, you have to be registered with our association and pass through the Lagos Drivers Institute for training. You will get your ID card and uniform and will benefit from the association as well,” he said.