Enugu State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah, Tuesday, inaugurated an 11- member Enugu State Security Trust Fund to strengthen security in the state.
Pix- Gov Mbah
Performing the inauguration at Government House, Enugu, Governor Mbah said it was in line with his administration’s campaign promise and efforts to build on the successes achieved in the security of lives and property in the state.
Pix- BOT members with Gov Mbah(m)
The Governor commended them for accepting to serve the state with their wealth of experience and contacts. He projected the state’s security expenditure for 2024 at N20bn, emphasising that the government was counting on private sector support in regard.
“The Security Trust Fund is in line with what we have expressed in our manifesto when we were seeking the mandate of our people to serve them. We promised them that Enugu will be one of the top three states in terms of GDP and of course we said it is going to happen from private sector investment; and attracting private sector investment requires that you have the enabling environment.
“This was why we immediately made certain consequential pronouncements and took emphatic steps in addressing our insecurity challenges. We set up the Distress Response Squad. We are deploying CCTV across our city, and making sure that we have a central Command and Control Centre where we can monitor all that is going on and to prevent crimes.
Pix- Gov Mbah(L) Chioke(R)
“We work to prevent crimes, but have also put in place adequate measures and facilities to be able to identify, track, capture and defeat the criminals involved if there is any breach of security of any kind.
“So, the inauguration of this Security Tust Fund today is going to redouble our efforts in the fight against insecurity in the state, ”he said.
Pix- Gov Mbah and some members of the Security Trust Fund
Pix- BoT members with Gov Mbah( m)
The 11-member Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Trust Fund is chaired by Ike Chioke, an Investment Banker and Group Managing Director of Afrinvest Trustees Limited, while Chinedu Anih was appointed the Executive Secretary.
Other members are Nathaniel Udeh and Chris Ekemezie representing the private sector; Commissioner for Human Capital and Poverty Eradication, Dr. Malachy Agbo, and Commissioner for Culture and Toursim, Dame Ugochi Madueke, representing the state; the State Director, Department of State Security, Mrs. Theresa Egbunu and the Garrison Commander, 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Enugu, Brig. Gen. Murtala Abu, representing the security organisations.
Others are ACP (Rtd.) Ifeanyi Nwafor; Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu representing the Chairman of Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers as well as the Anglican Bishop of Nike Diocese, Bishop Onyeka Onyia and the Vice Chancellor of the Godfrey Okoye University, Rev. Fr. Prof. Christian Aneke, representing the religious institutions.
Speaking on behalf of other members, the BOT Chairman, Ike Chioke, commended the Mbah administration for containing insecurity in the state, and for activating the Security Trust Fund four years after it was signed into law.
“We are witnessing something that should have happened, perhaps four years ago, when the law establishing the Enugu State Security Trust Fund was actually passed. But without the BOT, it was not possible to action it.
“However, under your leadership, we have seen the amazing work you have done in calming down issues of insecurity in our state. We are witnessing the fact that we can now move around freely on Mondays. But taking further steps of setting up the BOT of the Enugu State Security Trust Fund gives additional impetus to your commitment to make sure Enugu is safe for business and our citizens here”, he stated.
He assured that the appointees would deliver on the mandate, given the calibre of people the government had assembled.
“The objective is first and foremost fundraising. I have my background in financing, financial markets, and capital markets. I have been doing investment banking since 1991. That makes it 33 years of capital raising and with all due modesty with everything I have done in that period, probably over a trillion-naira capital and people with strong credentials we have, I have no doubt that we will meet our people’s expectation,” Chioke said
Pix-; Chioke (first L)
By the provisions of the Enugu State Security Trust Fund Law (as amended in 2023), the Trust Fund has the mandate to source for fund for the acquisition and deployment of security equipment and to carry out other activities of the Fund; act as an intervention agency to all security agencies operating within the State; provide money for the acquisition and deployment of security equipment and such human, material, and financial resources as shall be necessary to prevent crime and preserve public security in the State; promote the efficiency of all security organisations in the State; hold for the benefit of all residents of the State gifts, property, and money; acquire and deploy security equipment and such other resources as shall be necessary for achieving the objectives of the fund; and ensure that every stakeholder joins hand with the government in funding security operations within the State.
It could be reecalled that the enabling Law was enacted in 2020, and was not activated. The Mbah administration initiated vital amendments to the Law in 2023 and also executed a Deed of Trust to pave the way for the appointment and inauguration of a Board of Trustees (BOT) to bring the Trust Fund into full force.
Author: Maureen Ikpeama