ICT Resource Centres In 100 Lagos Formations Ready - Fashola
…As Governor hands over third ICT equipment units comprising hardware, software, Solar power panels at Area F Police Command
…Lagos Police CP, Aderanti commends Fashola for sustained assistance to improve work of Policemen
Feb 24, 2015 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN on Tuesday inaugurated the third Police Information Technology Resource Centre located at the Area F Command, Ikeja, stating that all of the100 of such ICT Centres have already been installed with Policemen at each of the locations going through various training programmes to familiarize themselves with the workings of the vital resource equipment.
The Governor who spoke with newsmen after the handover of the ICT equipment comprising of hardware and software at the Area F Headquarters stressed that the commissioning is about ensuring that the Police officers take ownership of the facilities and that this explains why at each of the locations, he usually hands over to the Police Commissioner so that the message could trickle down.
Speaking at the brief but impactful handover, he appealed to Police officers to see themselves as Policemen for the most vulnerable members of the society.
Fashola added that whenever any member of the society sees a Policeman in uniform, the message that comes to his mind is the fact he is safe, stressing that the least that every citizen expects is that such police uniforms must not get into wrong hands because if that happens, all his sense of safety will evaporate immediately.
"Whenever I see this (Policemen's) uniform as a citizen, the only message that it passes to me is that I am safe. So this uniform must not get into wrong hands. All over the world, whenever one sees a police officer, he or she will believe that he is safe. And nothing can be more shocking to the citizens to know that such a police officer was a fake police officer, because all of his sense of safety will evaporate immediately", he added.
He noted that the Police uniform must never be a tool for brutalizing the citizens but that they must realize that the citizens are their employers because the resources with which they are paid and also get equipped are from the taxes paid by the people.
"The citizens come first because that was the reason for putting on that cloth. Please continue to do your work because if no one values your work, I do. And I hope that these facilities will help enhance your work", he added.
The Governor who described policing as a very important job, also appealed to Nigerians to have a second look at their police and see how they could make the police function the way they want it to.
"I belief that this nation can build a 21st Century Police Force where some of the best and brightest can decide to pursue a career and will reach the top. This will start from work environment, the tools they have to work with and the dignity and carriage with which they carry themselves", he stated.
The Governor who also underscored the importance of Information Technology in the detection and prosecution of crimes maintained that the provision of technology does not cost much and that its absence affects the performance of Policemen.
"For instance how can we expect policemen to work without technology? How can they detect crime, even after detecting it, how will they be able to keep records. We are still carrying a police force formation that I think has not left some of its colonial inheritances. The colonial foundations were reliable at that time. Even those who gave the Police to us have changed many times over and that was the reason why we are changing some of the designs of your Area Commands to give them a more contemporary look and to make the environment conducive and comfortable".
"Even if you go out on patrol sometimes, you lose some of your colleagues which sadly happen. I know how horrific that could be for a family when they realized that the head of the family will not be returning safe and sound to them. It is a very terrible feeling".
"I know that you do it so that we all can be safe. The least we can do is to show understanding for the risk that you take on behalf of this society. And your job can be improved and made lighter with the way you all relate with the public. You are the first bastion of contact with them", he explained.
The Governor who also promised to ensure the connection of the Area F Police Command to the Independent Power Project in Ikeja immediately expressed the hope that the Resource Centre will achieve its purpose, improve the work environment of the Police and make their work easier.
He explained that initially the resource centres were borne out of the need to address the problem of traffic management but in the process what was designed has gone beyond traffic management.
He said part of the initial problem was that key police formations were on major highways and the way exhibits especially vehicles were kept did not really give the kind of attraction the Police Stations deserved.
The Governor stressed that there was also the necessity to protect properties because often times when vehicles were impounded, by the time they are given back they have become depreciated which is a loss to the owners as well.
"We found out that the Magistrate does not require you to bring the vehicle exhibits to the court. If there was an accident or there was a crime and you recovered a vehicle, you can take photographs and keep it while releasing the vehicle to the owner on bond to produce it when required. You can call me to produce the vehicle when it is needed and I am more likely to heed your call than when my vehicle is delayed", he explained.
The Governor informed that the new information Technology centre boasts of personal computers, printers, UPS, digital camera and a two kilowatts solar power panel to assist in powering the telephones and other useful items that will enable the Policemen function optimally.
He also said he often wonders when people talk about provision of various internet connectivity mains like hotspot and wifi without addressing the issue of steady electricity, insisting that electricity must first be fixed before any issue of internet connectivity is talked about.
While shedding more light at the interview, he explained that the second objective is to let police officers understand that properties involved in crimes need not be kept forever because if they are perishable items like cars, television, photographs can be taken while the properties are released on bond to the owners while investigation continues.
He noted that investigation shows that, before this initiative, once a vehicle is impounded the owner of such a vehicle should forget it because by the time it is returned to the owner it would have become a carcass.
He reiterated that the purpose was to remove accidented vehicles from the roads so that traffic can move more freely adding that in a situation where there are two lanes which has been constricted for parking vehicles, it would have narrowed movement which can tail back to several kilometres.
Speaking on the 2 kilowatts Solar power panels also provided at the ICT Centre, Fashola said the solar panel will help to keep communication going on by assisting to keep phones, Walkie- talkies of the Policemen charged to make the environment in which they work better than it was and motivate them.
Speaking earlier, the State Police Commissioner, Mr Kayode Aderanti commended the State Governor for the assistance which he has continually rendered to the State Police Command.
He said the completion, equipping and handing over of the ICT Resource Centres which have been provided at 100 Police formations round the State, is an addition to measures by the State Government to make the Police function better.
He said with the successful handovers, the era of vehicle exhibits littering the frontages and premises of Police station would be a thing of the past as such exhibits can be captured in photographs and released to the owners.
Mr Aderanti added that the 2 kilowatts solar power panel will also assist the policemen in charging their phones to ensure that the communication line is always active, expressing appreciation of the force to the Governor.
The Governor later undertook an inspection of the ICT Centre at the Area F Headquarters before commissioning a similar one that is located within the Ikeja Divisional Police Headquarters.
The event was attended by the State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Biyi Mabadeje and Permanent Secretary, Mrs Nike Animashaun, the Special Adviser on Security, Major Tunde Panox as well as officers and men in the Area F Command.