The Executive Secretary, the Oyo State Security Trust Fund, OYSSTF, Mr. Femi Oyedipe at the weekend said the state government has begun the collection of security levy from business premises, churches, mosques and corporate organisations in the state, with an estimated income of about N2 billion annually expected.
Oyedipe, in a statement said that the security levy, which was expected to be paid by business premises, private schools, churches, mosques and associations among others, had already taken off in four local government areas of Ibadan.
Listing the local government areas to include Ibadan North-East, Ibadan North-West, Ibadan South-West and Ibadan North, he commended the affected corporate bodies for their response to the clarion call by government for them to partner with it in its efforts at providing adequate security for the lives and property of the citizenry.
He said, “It is apparent that government no government can single-handedly shoulder the huge responsibility of funding security. That was why the Governor Abiola Ajimobi-led administration decided to set up the Oyo State Security Trust Fund in 2012 to serve as an avenue through which funds could be raised for the improvement of the security architecture of the state.
“It is also in furtherance of this that government introduced one per cent security tax on all the contracts executed on behalf of state government. This has also assisted the Security Trust Fund in the past years. I am convinced that by the time the security levy is spread to all the local governments across the state, close to N2 billion would be raked in annually and this would complement government’s efforts in the provision of security”.
Oyedipe added that government had started a project christened “Light Up Ibadan” through in which street light would be installed in major roads within the city.
According to him, all these were parts of the Safe City Project being executed by the state government to enhance the security apparatus of the state in terms of logistics and technical capabilities as well as nip crime and criminality in the bud.
Oyedipe Said that CCTV cameras had already been installed in some areas in Ibadan metropolis, adding that the project would soon be extended to other areas and business districts in the city.
He pointed out that a large expanse of land had been set aside at the Trans Amusement Park in Ibadan for the sighting of solar power for the ‘’Light Up Ibadan’’ project which, he said, would gulp about N750 million.
He said that the project, which would be done in phases, had received a boost from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, through the donation of N50 million while other commercial banks had also assisted the state government with the sum of N250 million.
The Executive Secretary said that his Fund had donated 2,000 safety helmets to commercial motorcycle riders across the state while regular repairs were being carried out on the operational vehicles of the various security agencies and the state security outfit codenamed ‘’Operational Burst’’ to enhance their efficiency.
Oyedipe assured the people of the state that government would continue to do its best to ensure that their lives and property were security through a well coordinated security arrangement and public-private partnership in security funding.
Oyedipe also stated that the Oyo State Government had commenced the installation of close circuit television, CCTV, cameras in some black spots and business districts in Ibadan metropolis as part of measures to enhance the security architecture of the city.
Besides, the state government has announced the introduction of call centres and toll free lines through which security agencies would be receiving useful security information from members of the public at no cost to them.