Some Alsatian dogs

Yemi Akinsuyi in Abuja

As part of efforts to enhance the capacity of security personnel in combating terrorism and the general security challenge in the country, the police have set up dog- breeding centres in Abuja and some other parts of the country.

Speaking while inaugurating a dog-breeding centre and an ultra-modern mounted troop stable on Thursday in Abuja, the Inspector General of Police, IG, Solomon Arase said the breeding centre, which is capable of producing over 200 dogs per annum, was meant to complement the technical and human assets of the police and other security agencies to address the current security challenge facing the country.

Arase said in support of government’s policy on made in Nigeria goods, as well as helping the naira to appreciate, thereby growing the economy, the Police had adopted Binggo Dog Food, a locally produced food, for their dogs.

The IG, who alongside the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, inspected the various facilities at the centre, including the official Binggo dog food, said the centre would make the Force self-reliant to locally breed police dogs in a cost -effective manner while saving the nation some foreign exchange.

Arase stated that the police had failed to tap the immeasurable anti-crime opportunities which abound in the Force Animal Branch, adding that the police had spent over N600 million on the procurement and maintenance of foreign dogs in the past few years.

He explained that the facility would also breed puppies for the public on commercial basis with the intention of evolving the centre into a self-sustaining dog breeding centre as practiced in other policing climes.

He said: “My experience as the IG points to the fact that the immeasurable anti-crime opportunities which abound in the Force Animal Branch have remained under-utilized, while the Force continued to rely on importation of dogs and other animals to advance the attainment of its mandate.

“In fact, records show that the Nigeria Police Force has spent over N600m in the last few years just on the procurement and maintenance of these foreign dogs. This is certainly not sustainable, especially in the face of current dwindling resources.”