By Donald Ugwu
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday inaugurated 150 patrol cars donated to Nigerian Police by Aliko Dangote Foundation and called on major corporate organisations to emulate Africa’s richest man.
The Vice President said Dangote’s gesture would boost security infrastructure in the country.
“I want to congratulate the Inspector General of Police on this latest donation of 150 cars. I think this is going to be a great boost to our efforts at keeping security all over the country.
“I would also like to call on others, especially major corporate organisations that whatever cooperation and collaboration we can get from them will be greatly appreciated.
“We wish they could follow the very great example that has been set today by Dangote Group and Alhaji Aliko Dangote.”
According to the vice president, besides the positive donation, the government and the people of Nigeria have benefitted greatly from the corporate social responsibility of Dangote Group.
Osinbajo recalled that the group was responsible for the building of 54km Obajana-Kabba Road, several health centres in Benue, Ogun and other parts of the country, as well as schools.
He said government was aware of the micro credit scheme the foundation gave to no fewer than 40,000 citizens, noting that the patrol vehicles were directed at security of the country.
He noted that there was a lot of talk about public-private cooperation and participation but the Aliko Foundation was one that followed up with implementation.
He observed that by the group’s demonstration of goodwill to the society, it showed the group was not just interested in making profit and creating jobs, but helping humanity.
The Vice President commended the foundation for being concerned and socially-conscious, adding that the group could have very easily chosen whatever else to do with its resources.
The Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said the donation to police, being the highest from a private agency, was to support the police.
He said the donation was important in view of the present security challenges in the country, adding that the group spent N10 billion annually in interventions in education, healthcare and other economic activities nationwide.
“We are deepening our intervention in security by donating these automatic and Nigerian-assembled cars,’’ Dangote stated as he called on other corporate groups to follow suit.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, thanked Dangote for the gesture, saying it would greatly assist the force toward fulfilling its mandate of protecting lives and property.
Idris noted that for the police to be effective and responsive to the security needs of people in a complex and dynamic policing space such as Nigeria, it required the support of people in the provision of logistics.
The IG pledged to put the vehicles to effective use in efforts to fight crime and criminality and gave the assurance that the current security challenges such as herdsmen/farmers conflicts, insurgency, militancy, armed robbery and killings would soon end.
He said “the President and Commander-in-Chief has mandated me to redouble the police crime prevention and detection strategies to ensure that the situation is strictly brought under control.
“I can comfortably assure that our efforts in crime prevention are already yielding the desired results.
“In that regard and incompliance with the directive, commissioners of police and their supervisory Assistant Inspectors-General of Police have been directed to ensure immediate end to the challenges by deploying the arsenal at their disposal.’’
The IG cautioned that as the 2019 elections approached, politicians and citizens must act within the confines of the law.
He noted that “the use of firearms or arming of thugs for political or other unlawful activities are criminal in nature and anybody no matter how highly placed found to be involved will be arrested and prosecuted.’’
Chief Diana Cheng, the Chairman of CIG Motors, makers of the Gac 3 salon cars, thanked the Dangote Group for choosing its brand of cars, adding that it showed collaboration between Chinese and Nigerian investors.
She acknowledged that the gesture would assist the country to solve its security challenges