By Deji Elumoye in Abuja
A member of the National Assembly, Senator Abu Ibrahim, has flayed the underfunding of the Nigeria Police in the last five years by the Federal Government.
Ibrahim, who until last month was the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, however hailed the enhanced new pay structure approved for police personnel by federal government.
The Senator representing Katsina South said in Abuja on Sunday that allocations to the Police Force since 2013 for capital and overhead costs give a clear picture of the poor funding in this organization.
According to him, the dilemma of the Police as far as overhead cost allocation is concerned can be seen from the analysis of what is required for fuelling and maintenance of vehicles, what is needed to provide kits for police personnel and amount required for local travels and transport.
Said he:“currently, the Force has a fleet of 14,306 vehicles including 3,115 motorcycles nationwide.On the basis of estimated minimum yearly fuel consumption, the fuelling cost implication for effective operational patrol is as follows: 10, 379 Vehicles at N145.00 per litre of petrol for 365 days is N16,479,257,250.00 ; Equally, 3,115 motorcycles at N145.00 per litre of petrol for 365 days is N1,648,613,750.00 ; while 812 vehicles at N200.00 per litre of diesel for 365 days is N1,778,280,000.00. Total average annual fueling cost is N19,906,151,000.00.
“Similarly, the average annual maintenance cost of these vehicles are as follow; 10,379 vehicles at N45,000.00 for 12 months is N5,604,660,000.00 ; 3,115 motorcycles at 15,000.00 for 12 months is N560,700,000.00 while 812 vehicles [diesel] at N90,000.00 for 12 months is N876,960,000.00 .Total average maintenance cost for 12 months is N7,042,320,000.00 .
He, therefore, canvassed for a sustainable fund arrangement to be put in place for the Police to perform at its best
“The incontrovertible conclusion is that if we desire a Police that is efficient and capable of maintain law and order as in other advanced countries, a sustainable fund arrangement must be put in place for the Nigeria Police Force.”
Ibrahim hinted that he has submitted a Bill to the Senate which has gone through second reading and Public hearing adding that“the major part of the Bill which I submitted, seeks to provide a legal framework for the management of and control of the Special Intervention Fund to be known as Police Development Fund.
“It will also focus on the training and retraining of personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, provision of equipment, offices and as well as other related facilities that would enhance the security delivery to the populace.
Ibrahim, however, described the increased new pay structure for the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as a motivational measure.
He expressed conviction that the increase in the wages of the members of the police personnel will improve their commitment and motivation to serve the country better.
Ibrahim who now chairs the Senate committee on Labour and Productivity noted that the enhanced salary structure for the members of the NPF was particularly heard warming coming at a time the Police Force was obviously overstretched in meeting the security challenges of the nation.