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Offa robbery: KWACOBPA Urges Kwara Govt To Implement Proposed State Business Agenda

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The Chairman, Kwara Coalition of Business and Professional Association, Chief Hezekiah Adediji, has said that the recent armed robbery attacks on banks and people in Offa, Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State was a set back to business and banking operations.

He  emphasized the importance for improved security of lives and investments.  Adediji in a statement said efficient security  would improve commercial and banking activities as well as boost industrialization, adding that the recent robbery attacks on people, banks and commercial outfits in Offa negatively affected commerce and industry.

ROYAL NEWS reports that the business magnate implored the Kwara State Government to urgently implement the recommendations for solving security challenges in the state as contained in the State Business Agenda of the coalition which was presented to the public on November 11, 2016.

He explained that KWACOBPA submitted the document to the state government  through the then Commissioner of Commerce and Cooperatives, Alhaji Mohammed Rifun and the Chief of Staff, Government House, Mr. Babatunde Abdulwahab.

According to him, “KWACOBPA commiserates with the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, Olofa of Offa, Oba  Mufutau Gbadamosi Esuwoye, Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Lawan Ado, families of the victims and the people of Offa  on the recent bank robbery incident in the town. May  the Almighty God console the families of the victims of the attack.

“The Implementation of the well researched recommendations will solve the security challenges of the entire state and prevent a repeat of the ugly incident. Not only in Offa but in all others parts of the Kwara State.”

KWACOBPA had identified inadequate security in business sector as one of the impediments to doing in business  in the state. It stated that there is inadequate security in Kwara State was an understatement. It said that researcher’s findings revealed thigh prevalence of high way robbery, bank robbery and cultism. It noted that in a single armed robbery incident in Offa in 2013, 30 lives were lost and properties and cash worth N151.25m were destroyed or stolen.

It stated that  as at the preparation of the document, business activities were paralysed in Offa as at then banks only opened for four hours (9.00am to 1,00pm) daily.

It also noted that by then, Omu-Aran and oro had been shut out of banking services since 2013. It added that from various reports collated on robbery cases, it was established that robbery on the state highways claimed about 200 lives and properties (cash and goods) estimated at about N1.69bn annually.

It stated that to address the situation and make the business environment in the state friendly and thereby attracts more investors; the coalition proffered the following recommendations for urgent attention of the state government.

Installation of Sola Powered Digital Closed Circuit Television, purchase of armoured personnel carriers, equipped police patrol vans and security task force.

Installation of Sola Powered Digital Closed Circuit Television,

The Coalition recommends procurement and installation of 70 Digital Solar Powered Closed Circuit Televisions in strategic places like business district (banks and commercial areas), motor parks and any red zone of the state. The following distribution is suggested: Ilorin

(30) additional; Offa (20) Omu-Aran (5), Share (3); Lafiaji (4); Okuta (3); Oro (3) and Patigi (2).

This will reduce crime rate by more than 90 per cent as movement around the CCTV installed areas can easily be monitored and proactive step taken by security personnel to pre-empt intending security challenges.  If CCTV were installed in Offa and Omu-Aran in 2013, 30

lives and N151.25m lost to bank robbery might have been saved. It is therefore expedient to invest in security equipment to forestall future loss of lives and properties.

Purchase of APC:

The Coalition advocates the purchase of at least 25 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) to complement the existing ones. APC should be strategically located and manned by well trained personnel who must always be on shift duty.

The APC should not be for mere display but must always be manned as our findings revealed that some APC were strategically located but without security personnel at the time of our visit to some of the locations where they are presently deployed in Kwara State.

The distribution shojld be spread to secure all red zones of the state as follows: Offa (4); Omu-Aran (2); Ilorin (7); Share (2); Oloru (2); Jebba road by Bacita Junction (1); Lafiaji (3), Kosubosu (2) and Okuta (2). It is our belief that this will give the desired impression of combat readiness that cab intimidate prospective armed robbers.

Equipped Police Patrol Vans:

The Coalition recommends the purchase of 120 additional patrol vans which are to be equipped with vehicular radio communication equipment by the State Government to tackle upsurge in security challenges.

Suggested distribution is as follows:

Ilorin and Adjoining communities (35); Offa and Towns around it (15); Lafiagi and environs (7); Ilesha-Baruba/Gwanara (10) Kaiama and environs (10); Kosubosu and environs (8); Ajase-Ipo/Offa Road (3), Bode-Saadu/Jebba Road (5), Alapa/Igbeti Road (3), Share and environs

(5), Oro/Omu-Aran and environs (7) and Pool (12).

This will guarantee effective patro of the state and thereby makes the state to become a safe haven and investors’ destination.

Security Task Force:

The Coalition supports the resuscitation of the security patrol team named ‘Operation Harmony’ established in 2013. The business owners and other stakeholders commended thee efforts and the effectiveness of the team comprising members of Armed Forces, Civil Defense Corps, Department of State Service and Police Force.

Business owners suggest that the taskforce should not only be revived but adequately equipped to face the security challenges  in the state.

The Task Force should be stationed at every point of entry to the listed towns. The Coalition believes that this step will frustrate the infiltration of the state by hoodlums from the neighbouring states.

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