Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd)
The Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd), has said about 4,000 retired police officers are yet to receive their pensions.
He also stated that the number could be more, as more files of retired officers were still being processed.
The minister, who made the disclosure in his 2012 report on his ministry’s progress and challenges, said the police was still faced with the challenge of poor funding, which has hampered some of its projects.
According to him, the backlog of the unpaid gratuities would soon be cleared as the verification of those dropped in the last pensioners’ nationwide bio-data capturing exercise has been concluded.
“It is hoped that the assignment will solve the challenge of data irregularities and enhance an efficient pension administration.
“I also hope that it will assist the Police Pensions Office in its statutory responsibility of generating accurate data base for budget purposes and planning,” he said.
He said: “In the face of the current security challenges in the country, the capacity of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to confront the development has over the years been constrained by the dwindling financial provisions for the force.”
However, the minister said the operational capacity of the police has been enhanced through training, capacity building, delivery of 1,500 patrol vans and 90 cars, strengthening of the Air-Wing Section of the force and acquisition of a strategic intelligence platform.
Olubolade said the ministry sent two bills to the National Assembly: the Nigeria Police Force Reform Trust Fund-Establishment Bills and the Nigeria Police Academy (Establishment, etc) Bill 2012.
Another policy, he said, was the establishment of a database of companies involved in the activities of explosives, seismic, radio-active, biological and chemical materials in the country at the Force Headquarters, Abuja and Lagos.
Also created was 10 new Explosive Ordinance Device (EOD) Sub-Units in Bauchi, Birnin Kebbi, Dutse, Gombe, Gusau, Jalingo, Lafia, Lagos, Minna and Umuahia to address terrorism.
“The completion and implementation of on-going reform programme is a marked departure from the previous unsuccessful efforts at reforming the NPF.
“However, the ministry and NPF have to contend with inadequate funding in spite of the increase in violence and criminality as well as consistent growth in the manpower strength of the force,” the minister said.
According to him, last year’s capital expenditure for the police was N9,656,295,375; overhead cost was N8,103,952,375; personnel cost was N290,713,993,403, while “capital supplementation” (contribution to the reform programme) was N12,300,000,000.
On the budget performance, Olubolade said: “The capital budgets of the ministry, Nigeria Police Formation, Police Pension Office as well as Nigeria Police Reform Programme were funded at 47.8 per cent, 72.9 per cent, 40.7 per cent and 68.5 per cent respectively as at 31st December, 2012.
“The utilisation of the sums released as at this date stands at 99.2 per cent, 50.3 per cent, 97.6 per cent and 79.6 per cent for the Ministry, Nigeria Police Formation and Commands, Police Pension Office and Reform Programme respectively.”
The minister said more funding is required to transform the police to an efficient and effective people-friendly force that would measure up to the expectations of Nigerians in the 21st Century.
According to him, police funding in the past 13 years weighed more in favour of personnel emolument which rise due to increase in strength and the various interventions of government to boost the morale of the officers and men through enhanced income.
“Regrettably, we can all attest to the rise both in size and sophistication of crime and criminality over time, far beyond the available resources,” he said.
He added: “The Federal Government was committed to provide annual contribution of N79.02 billion towards the implementation of the Reform Programme, only the sum of N65.6 billion and N17.1 billion were released in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
“In the fiscal year 2012, the sum of N12.3 billion was appropriated representing 15.6 per cent, while only the sum of N12 billion has been released.”
Olubolade said President Goodluck Jonathan’s government was committed to improving the lot of policemen and equipping them to effectively fight against crime.
“I want to place on record the unreservedly commitment of Mr. President to train, equip, rehabilitate police barracks, stations and provide feeding for police personnel on special duties and pay salary and pensions of police personnel as when due has greatly boost the morale and performance profile of the NPF.
“The Ministry and the Nigeria Police Force are committed and working tirelessly to ensure that the Police is transformed to an efficient and effective people friendly police in line with world best practices and that would measure up to the expectations of Nigerians in the 21st Century,” he said.
The minister said implementation of the non-financial component of the reform programme commenced in 2009.
So far, he said, curricula of police training institutions have been largely reviewed with emphasis on intelligence training, thorough knowledge of rules, regulations and international best practices in policing.
The Police Academy, Wudil, Kano, which will soon become a degree-awarding institution, will begin academic ctivities in April, the minister said.
“Through the FGN support to the Reform Programme which commenced in 2010, some immediate dividends of the investment are being realised.
“Substantial investment made in training and capacity building in such courses as crowd control and management, weapon handling, musketeering, among others have achieved about 40 per cent reduction in cases of accidental discharge.
“The Constables Development Programme of Five Years and Above Refresher Course as well as other courses in community policing, greatly contributed to the professional conduct and positive attitude of officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force in the 2011 general elections and subsequent staggered elections as attested by Observers.
“The delivery of 1,500 patrol vans in a swoop and 90 cars have greatly enhanced the response time of the Force to crime and rescue calls.
“The Air wing Section of the Nigeria Police Force has been adequately strengthened through the completion of the Hanger project in Abuja and substantial addition to the fleet of the Force. The Air wing currently has nine helicopters, while additional four are being expected.
“Furthermore, a brand new CESSNA Citation XLS was delivered to the Force for high level command and control duties. Consequently, the Force has come to be adjudged to possess the best Air wing Section in West Africa. This feat has enhanced its response in crisis situations and surveillance activities.
“A strategic intelligence platform has been acquired; the Force can now competently deal with the menace of kidnappers.
“A national public security communication project with national coverage is being installed and to be commissioned soon.
“Development of Police Academy, Wudil and Police Staff College, Jos, are at various stages, with completion of on-going projects as scheduled,” Olubolade said.