Fashola Launches Free 767 Distress Call System
Apr 15, 2008 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday took a major practical step to demonstrate the people ‘first and always‘ philosophy of his administration by launching the dedicated 767 distress call system that would provide stress free contact with the Command Centre of the Rapid Response Squad(RRS). The 767 distress call system is the first of its kind in the country.
Addressing representatives of the police, other security agencies, the private sector and civil society at the ceremony which took place at the RRS Grounds at Alausa, the Governor explained that one of the main challenges of any security system is communication, adding that the realization prompted his administration to design a two tier communication system that would provide a dedicated interruption free line of communication with relevant security agencies.
He revealed that the second phase of the programme is the Emergency Response Centre which will be the state wide fully enabled and state of the art clearing house for all distress calls to any of the federal and state agencies charged with the responsibilities of crime control, disaster management, fire, traffic, accident and emergency and the like.
The Governor lamented that today the nation is faced with a problem of a Police Force of highly dedicated men and women who desire to provide security to the citizens but are severely constrained by a pervasive and almost criminal neglect, compounded by continuous under funding of budgets and undue reliance on the states to provide basic working tools such as vehicles, communication equipment and accommodation.
Governor Fashola called for an adjustment of the present revenue allocation formula of the federation if the states were to take over the responsibilities of the Federal Government in supporting the Police in the role of preservation of law and order.
The Governor recalled that one of the steps he took when he assumed office was the setting up of a high powered security committee to critically examine the security situation and fashion out workable solutions to the problem.
The Lagos State helmsman explained that as expected, the committee did a good job, but one of its main and most critical observations in relation to the efficacy and effectiveness of any security system was funding.
In response to the challenge thrown by the State Government through the security committee, the private sector as at the last count has contributed well over N700Million to the Lagos Security Trust Funds in addition to the N300Million worth of equipments donated to the fund by the State Government, Governor Fashola added.
He explained that as at the last count, the State has provided the state command with over 250 vehicles in the last six months, in addition to provision of support to critical partners in ensuring the security of the state.
The Governor said that as a major boost to the quest to properly police the state, the State Signage and Advertising Agencies production of about 35,000 street signages that would serve as indicators round the state starting from the three pilot local government areas- Surulere, Ikeja and Ikoyi.
He said that the massive investment in the Police through the Security Trust Fund has significantly improved the visibility and potency of the Police.
The Governor appealed to members of the Organized Private Sector particularly the manufacturing oil and brewing arm ,market associations ,unions and private citizens who are yet to contribute to the fund to do so as soon as practicable.
In his address, the Chairman of the board of the Trust Fund, Mr. Remi Makanjuola said the trust fund will ensure the provision of necessary and vital equipment to the state command to aid its performance.
He added that the Fund has loaned an additional 40 vehicles to the Police to aid its patrol of special areas and appealed to companies that have not assisted the fund to so without delays.
In his comments, the Managing Director of Contact Solutions, Mr. Abiodun Adeoye said any caller to the hotline would be attended to by courteous and professional agents who would pass it on to RRS for response in less than two minutes.
He added that the agency has got the assurance of all network providers that the emergency line would always be kept free and uncluttered for that crucial call which could save a life.
In his remarks at the occasion, the Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr. Marvel Akpoyibo described the new initiative as an added advantage to the facilities already in place in Lagos State.
He assured everyone that the latest facilities would improve the response capabilities of the State Command of the Nigerian Police.