Oyo State Government on Monday sought the assistance of the USA in tackling insecurity in Nigeria, particularly in the State.
The state Deputy Governor, Chief Adebayo Lawal, sought for assistance on behalf of Gov Seyi Makinde while receiving the new United States Consul-General, Mr. Williams Stevens, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Agodi in Ibadan.
Lawal, who observed that insecurity was becoming endemic in Nigeria, said Oyo state would welcome whatever technology was required to combat the menace.
“Initially, we thought we can localize this issue of security, but it has become a hydra-headed phenomenon.
“We must give it to you that if you choose to assist, you can be deliberate and we will encourage you to assist and partner with Oyo State Government in the area of security,” he said
On efforts made so far to address the insecurity, Lawal said “we know security is key and we have really deployed a greater percentage of resources into security development.
“Since the inception of this administration, we have put in place an outfit called ‘Amotekun’ to complement the efforts of our conventional security outfits – Police, Department of State Security, and others that are national in nature.
“Amotekun is domesticated, localized and goes into the nooks and crannies of our communities to ensure our environments are safe”.
The deputy governor further stated that the state government also wanted a partnership with the U.S. in the agriculture and health sectors.
He maintained that government would strengthen its partnership to deepen a mutually-beneficial relationship on business, entertainment, technology, and good governance, among others.
He stressed that the state government was looking forward to using the opportunities and mutually-beneficial partnerships with the United States to better the lives of Oyo State residents and create an atmosphere where businesses could thrive.
Lawal used the opportunity of the visit to equally commend the United States for its efforts in fighting HIV.
According to him, Oyo State has been working hard “to reduce the prevalence of the virus.
“We need to really commend your efforts in the area of HIV, which to us, is one focal point and our Ministry of Health has been working assiduously to reduce the prevalence of the virus.”
Earlier, Mr. Stevens said his country was poised to improve economic relationships and bilateral trade and work together with Oyo State to combat crime.
Stevens also said the US was partnering to prioritize agriculture, health, and security, among other initiatives.
He lauded the state government for doing well in the areas of healthcare delivery, noting that the state’s parameters on HIV prevalence are already ahead of some countries.
Stevens said the United States would partner with Oyo State and the Federal Government in combating transnational crimes and ensure the security of the lives and property of residents.