- IG: Force requires N1tn annually
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
A paltry sum of N3 billion of the N20 billion capital appropriation for the Nigeria Police Force has so far been released in its 2017 budget.
The force has also received N5billion from its appropriated N11.6 billion for its 2017 overhead, which is deployed towards its operations in providing security for the country.
The figures were presented by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Abu Ibrahim, at the public hearing on the bill for an act to establish the Nigeria Police Development Fund.
Ibrahim disclosed that the force in its 2016 N16.1 billion capital appropriation, received N10 billion, while the sum of N6.3 billion was released from its N9.2 billion overhead budget.
The evident underfunding hampers the bid to provide an efficient police capable of maintaining law and order as in other advanced countries, the senator said.
The police, he said, currently has a total strength of 298,735 personnel spread across the country in 12 zones, 37 states including the FCT, 128 Area commands, 1,381 divisions, 1,579 police stations and 3,856 police posts.
â€œThe force depends wholly on the government for its operational and administrative requirement through the annual appropriation. Unfortunately, budgetary allocations in recent times have been based on envelope concept, which does not reflect the enormous size, scope of responsibility and actual needs of the Force,â€
â€œArising from the limitations of funding occassioned by ceiling, most of the requirements that would enable the force to perform are never met,â€ Ibrahim said.
This, he added informed the need for the initiative to establish a development fund for the police to be funded from 0.5 per cent of total revenue accruable to the Federation Account, which requires constitutional amendment.
It is also to be funded from a levy of 0.005 percent of the net profit of companies operating in Nigeria, and an amount not less than 30 per cent of money accrued to the Cyber Security Fund.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, in his presentation said the force requires over N1 trillion annually to be effective.
Idris said all police formations and infrastructure in the North East have been destroyed by Boko Haram, informing an urgent need to restore civil authority to the region.
â€œAllocations on paper are insufficient yet the actual releases are far below what is allocated,â€ he said.
At least N19.9 billion is required for the fuelling of police 14,306 operational vehicles and 3115 motorcycles annually while N7.04 billion is required for their maintenance.
Lauding the proposed development fund, Idris urged that the 10 year time frame for its existence be expunged from the bill.
â€œRestricting the Trust Fund to 10 years is not good. Issues of security are not time bound, nor are they tied to any political dispensation,â€ he said.