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Commending Gov Ambode’s Safety initiative


LAGOS NEIGHBOURHOOD SECURITY CORPS: Plaudits for an impressive initiative


By Oluwole Sheriff Olusanya


Let me, however, make it abundantly clear that the Neighborhood Safety Corps is not in any way in competition with the regular Police Force.

“In actual fact, they are expected to assist and complement the Police by providing useful intelligence for crime prevention and to facilitate the arrest of perpetrators of criminal activities in our communities,” – Governor Akinwunmi Ambode (Monday, 27th March, 2017).


On Monday 27th March, 2017, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode launched the Lagos Neighborhood Security Corps at the Agege Mini Stadium, Agege, Lagos. With a pledge that the security of lives and properties in the state is now non-negotiable, the People’s Governor handed over a total of 177 salon cars and vehicles equipped with necessary communication gadgets, 377 motorcycles, 377 helmets, 4,000 bicycles, metal detectors for ensuring that illegal weapons are not smuggled into public places, among other operational equipment. While speaking at the official launch, Ambode said the move was another giant step towards enhancing security all over the State and a vital part of the ongoing efforts of his administration to reform the security and justice sector. The Governor, who on August 15, 2016 assented to the law that created the Neighborhood Safety Corps, said the Corps had been designed to provide a second layer of policing in order to ensure that the State and communities are more secure. He also acknowledged the fact that the Nigerian Police had been very supportive to the State Government especially in fighting crime, but that the need for the Neighborhood Corps arose from the identified security challenges confronting the State due to huge population, adding that the members of the Corps would complement police especially in areas of community policing.

(Culled From Vanguard News –

Unfortunately, I could not watch the full clip of the historic launch because I was at work but I saw some scenes as the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) treated viewers to a real-time broadcast of the whole show. I also saw some of the new vehicles on my way home from work on the same day. I have to honest, I am grateful to the Governor for such a laudable effort to combat crime in a holistic manner.

In a similar article titled; “Social Housing and the Mega City Status: Issues & Prospects”, I stated in explicit terms why Lagos is truly the center of excellence. Excerpts; “The attraction to Lagos is not difficult to spot. This is one of Africa’s biggest economies, after Nigeria. The Internally Generated Revenue of the state is bigger than those of 31 other states in Nigeria combined. 90.1% of Direct Foreign Investments of Nigeria berths in Lagos and at $131Billion, this state’s Gross Domestic product is bigger than the economics of 42 African countries combined, so much so that if Lagos state were a country, it would be the 6th largest economy in Africa, almost at par with that of Angola ($131,401), an oil-producing country and ahead of Morocco’s whose GDP stands at $107,005. To the growing band of job seekers, therefore, this is the proverbial land of opportunities that is forever welcoming and does not discriminate.

But with a landmass that is smallest in Nigeria, 22% of which is water, the effect of rapid urbanization simply means Lagos is bursting by seams. With an estimated 21 million people, this is not just one of the world’s fastest growing mega-cities, but Africa’s most populated after it overtook Cairo in headcount in 2012.” (Oluwole Olusanya, 2016)

Perhaps, these great achievements come with their own burden because their disadvantages are obviously reflected in the alarming rate of crime, unemployment, youthful restfulness, urban migration, and huge housing deficit amongst other socio-economic challenges presently confronting the economic hub of our great nation – Nigeria. These and more reasons authenticates and justifies the necessity of the Lagos Neighborhood Security Corps. However, I would also give additional advantages of the Governor’s visionary and precautionary move.

  • Employment Generation – Hear the Governor; “All these equipment have been made possible through the judicious use of tax payers’ money and funds from the State Lottery Fund for good causes. Please continue to pay your taxes for a better Lagos.” “I am very happy to state that through this Safety Corps initiative the State Government has created over 7,000 jobs for officers of the Corps, artisans and other support staff. Job creation is at the heart of economic prosperity and we remain fully committed to a more prosperous Lagos for our citizens,” the Governor said. One of the notable features of this initiate is that about 7,000 new jobs were created for Lagosians. It is obvious that unemployment and crime are mutually exclusive socio-economic challenges and the effort to solve both problems simultaneously is commendable.
  • Community Policing and Grassroots Security – The Nigerian Police Force is grossly under-staffed, it is believed that presently a police officer is responsible for about 1,000 citizens which is according to the projected population of the country and the number of officers in the employment of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). The efforts of the police in the protection of lives and properties would be adequately complemented with the introduction of the Neighborhood watch because according to the Governor; “In actual fact, they are expected to assist and complement the Police by providing useful intelligence for crime prevention and to facilitate the arrest of perpetrators of criminal activities in our communities,” Governor Ambode said. Additionally, He added that in realization of the fact that nothing can be more important in law enforcement than educating the people in charge of enforcing the law, the rebranded Neighborhood Corps have been trained and equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills to complement the good work of the Nigerian Police. He said in addition to the induction on orthodox community policing techniques, the Corps were also trained on how to mediate disputes and the art of negotiating for peaceful resolution; balancing communal interest in resolving disputes and proactive policing engagement instead of reactive policing.



I would like to state categorically that the Neighborhood Security Corps would record significant success with adequate monitoring and supervision by the state government agency ministry charged with such responsibility. This is absolutely necessary because of possible malfeasance by errant personnel and they should also be reminded that the corps are not in any way competing with the staff and members of the Nigerian Police Force, they were only created to assist and complement their effort as noted by the Governor himself.

I would also use the opportunity to appreciate the Governor efforts to ensure that no stone is left unturned in his bid to ensure that Lagos continues be the pace setter and an enviable standard to other states in the federation. I remember vividly that I only voted for him in the General Election of 2015 because he was an APC candidate because I had considerable doubt in his efficiency in view of the enormous task of governing a state like Lagos, However, He has continue to prove me wrong and I believe the Governor deserves a round of applause. What do you think?




Olusanya, Oluwole Sheriff is a relationship officer with Sterling Bank Plc

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