By Ebenezer Ishola
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, received a donation of one billion naira from renowned philanthropist and entrepreneur, Mr. Femi Otedola to support security architecture through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF).
Governor Sanwo-Olu received the donation from Otedola in the company of the Chairman, LSSTF, Mr. Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti; Executive Secretary/CEO of LSSTF, Dr. Abdurrazak Balogun and other state officials and LSSTF Board of Directors, during a symbolic event at the Lagos House, Marina.
Femi Otedola, the Chairman of Geregu Power PLC and son of the Third Republic Governor of Lagos State, the late Sir Michael Otedola, was represented at the event by his daughter, Olawunmi Otedola.
Speaking at the event, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the N1 billion donation, which was the largest individual donation into the Lagos State Security Trust Fund, would go a long way in creating a more peaceful atmosphere and conducive business environment for economic benefits for investors and residents.
Governor Sanwo-Olu while commending Otedola for the donation which he noted will boost the morale of security personnel and provide more security equipment and vehicles, urged other well-meaning Lagosians to borrow a leaf from the renowned philanthropist and be intentional in joining the government to make Lagos a safer place for businesses to flourish as the commercial nerve center of Nigeria.
He said: “On behalf of the Fund, the board chairman, Mr. Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti; Executive Secretary/CEO, Dr. Abdurrazak Balogun and other board members, we express our deep appreciation to Mr. Femi Otedola. I want other Nigerians to emulate him and even exceed his donation. The N1 billion he has donated is not the limit. There are no limits, let others come and do more.
“We call other well-meaning Lagosians and large corporate businesses to support the Lagos State Security Trust Fund. The Fund is open to other donors and it is a call and challenge which Mr. Otedola has set the pace for us to continue to do the right thing. We as a government have also committed to supporting the Fund with 300 vehicles in the first quarter of this year and we are working to realise that.
“We want to be very intentional about this that we will not spare anything to ensure that we can continue to keep Lagos safe, encourage the men that do the job and continue to make Lagos the economic nerve centre of our country.
“We thank your dad (Femi Otedola) and send our best wishes to him. Where this has come from a lot more would come and his businesses will flourish. He should also encourage his friends to emulate him by donating to the Fund.”
Speaking on behalf of her father, Olawunmi Otedola, commended Governor Sanwo-Olu and the Lagos State Security Trust Fund for their hard work in keeping Lagos State safe and advised the Fund to continue in its culture of transparency and judicious use of resources.
Otedola acknowledged and saluted the contributions of the security personnel, especially during the festive periods for adequate protection of lives and property. She also encouraged residents to cooperate with the government for a more secure Lagos.
She said: “My father has taken an interest in this Fund since its inception and has from time to time made contributions to it. Over the years the Fund has continued to live up to its mandate and has remained very relevant in the security architecture of Lagos State. This is why my father has decided to commit another donation of N1 billion to the Fund to ensure the continuity of the critical work being done by the Fund making him the highest individual donor to the Fund.
“Lagos State is one of the few states in Nigeria where people move around freely without much worry about security, even in the dead of night. In fact, there was no notable security breach during the last Christmas and New Year celebrations with all the shows and funfair that accompanied them. While thanking the gallant men and women of the security services for their good work, we should recognise the role of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund in enabling them.
“My father believes that when well-meaning Lagos residents contribute to this type of effort, Lagos will be safer, and we all will be more prosperous. He, therefore, encourages all residents of Lagos, especially the corporate Lagos and high net worth individuals, to take a moment to reflect on the significance of donating to the Fund and then make that decision to contribute also regardless of size, as every donation has the power to create ripples of change.”