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By Amby Uneze in Owerri
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Idris Ibrahim has lamented over the underfunding of the Nigeria Police force, saying that the major constraint faced by the Police in executing its constitutional responsibility of effectively policing the country was the paucity of funds as the annual budgetary allocation for the force is grossly inadequate.
He disclosed that he is already discussing with the leadership of the National Assembly with the aim of reviving the Police Trust Fund Bill at which if passed into law would make more funds available to the force through first line charge.
Â States, local governments and private organisations would be expected to make contributions to the Trust Fund, just as value added tax (VAT) are deducted from source.
The IG who spoke in Owerri during his inspection tour of the Police College of Finance and Administration at Obiohia/Ogwuma in Ideato South Local Government council, the Special Protection Unit (SPU) Base at Ogboko being constructed by the state government, and the 250 bed hospital also donated to the Nigeria Police by the state government all located in Ideato South council area of the state.
According to the IGP, â€œthe force is doing her utmost best in discharging its constitutional duties of ensuring internal security in the country but our major constraint has always been inadequate funding. During the Security summit we held in Abuja recently it was said that the Police is underfunded and that we want to revive the Police Trust Fund Bill and we are in touch with the leadership of the National Assembly and when passed into law it is going to be a first line charge as private organisations, states and local governments will contribute to the fund”.
He commended Governor Rochas Okorocha for his support to Nigeria Police in the state disclosed that the Police has established three police tacticalÂ intelligence units in Lagos, Rivers and Imo state to tackle the menace of kidnapping as well as withdrawing the men of Police Mobile Force from individuals to enable them do their work.
“We are seriously addressing the menace of kidnapping as we have established Technical Intelligence Units in Lagos, Rivers and Imo for the South East to tackle the issue and we are calling on all community leaders to partner with the police by providing information as security is everybody’s business. These youths who are into kidnapping do it for money but if information is provided on time it will enable the police to tackle the menace”.
According to Ibrahim, â€œit is one of the Units we are using to tackle kidnapping because it is an intelligence outfit that has given us capacity to pre-empt some of these kidnappings.
Â When we came in we had only one of such Unit based in Abuja but we now have one in Lagos, one in Imo and one in Port Harcourt because we need to expand our capacityâ€.
The IGP however emphasised the need of community participation in tackling kidnapping, asserting that, â€œthe issue of kidnapping can be addressed on a two-prong action, which is Police action and the community participation. I think as community leaders, as parents, we need to discourage our youths who are taking kidnapping as a way of making easy money. We should put our heads together to ensure that our youths take their minds off this crimeâ€.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Staff GovernmentÂ House, Chief Uche Nwosu who had accompanied the Inspector – General of Police on the tour of the Police projects in Ideato South council area, said that Imo state government had promised to bring the presence of the Federal Government in the state by not only attracting the Police College of Finance and Administration, the Police Special Protection Units Base but has equally donated not only the lands but has taken it upon itself to erect the buildings in addition to donating 250 bed hospital to the Police at Ideato South.
â€œToday we are happy that the IGP has come to inspect the Police projects initiated by the state government and not forget that the state Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha had promised to bring the Federal Government and we are happy that the IGP has accepted to come to the state to see for himself and the Governor has promised to continue his support for not only the Police but to all the other security agencies in the state.”