Adelani Adepegba and Leke Baiyewu
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Tuesday said apart from inadequate personnel, the Nigeria Police Force needed no fewer than 1,000 armoured personnel carriers and 250,000 assault rifles with corresponding ammunition.
Adamu, who disclosed this at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs, tagged, ‘Repositioning the Nigeria Police for an Enhanced Service Delivery, said the country needed 2,000,000 tear gas canisters and smoke grenades.
Other equipment the IG said the force required included 200,000 riot gunners and smoke pistols, 1,000 tracking devices, and 774 operational drones, among others.
He also lamented that poor remuneration scared best and suitable applicants away from the police.
As part of efforts to address problems confronting the NPF, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), last year gave the force the go-ahead to recruit 10,000 police officers.
Besides inadequate manpower, the police are also battling with other problems including dilapidated barracks, poor remuneration and low budgetary allocations.
The PUNCH had on August 23, 2019 reported that ten months after the President approved an increase in police salaries and allowances, policemen had yet to receive the pay rise. The President had in November 2018, approved an enhanced salary structure for the NPF.
At the House of Representatives event on Tuesday, the IG, who was represented by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), Abdulmajid Ali, stated that aggregation of reports by the various police reform committees highlighted the major challenges hindering an optimal service delivery by the police.
In the document he presented to the committee, a copy of which our correspondent obtained, Ali said the challenges included gross underfunding, which he said was caused by inadequate budgetary appropriation and non-release of the limited appropriated funds.
He noted that the budgetary system still remained the envelope system, which he said was not capable of taking care of neither the needs nor wants of the force.
The envelope budgetary system involves the capping of funds at a particular amount notwithstanding the needs of an organisation.
S’African police got N1.137trn in 2018, N20bn was given to NPF, says Adamu
Ali said, “A comparative analysis between Nigeria and South Africa police indicates that while in 2018 the South African police got R46.87bn rand or N1.1372tn for visible policing programme, with a 6.89 per cent growth projection up to 2021/2022 financial year, the Nigeria Police had to do with N35bn appropriation and an eventual release of N20bn for capital and overhead expenditure.”
The DIG also described personnel of the NPF as inadequate to cope with the “expanding and increasingly complex requirements of policing Nigeria’s growing population and crime profile.”
According to him, 302,000 police officers cannot effectively police the country.
Poor remuneration scare best hands from police
Ali explained that poor remuneration and welfare regime, which he said were not only de-motivating for officers, but were not attractive enough for the best and most suitable applicants for police jobs in Nigeria.
Policeman gets N12,000 on retirement
“In Kenya, for example, a police constable take-home earning is about 34,907 Shilling or N126,000, whereas his Nigerian counterpart earns unfortunately less than N50,000. Pitiably, this earning comes down to between N12,000 and N18,000 at retirement,” he said.