On Increase In Police Emoluments

A few days ago, the President, Muhammadu Buhari, approved  enhanced salary structure for the Nigeria Police in order to increase the performance index of officers, men and women in the force.

WITH this development, the rank salary structure adjustment, allowances and pension of policemen will witness an improvement.

SPEAKING through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, the president expressed his commitment to restoring the police’s lost primacy in the internal security framework of the country.

ACCORDING to him, the inability of the force to perform their constitutional role has led to the involvement of the military in the maintenance of law and order throughout the country.

HE stated that the more efficient the police is the more confident the government and the citizens will be.

NEEDLESS to say, the challenges facing the Nigeria Police are enormous, as many of their formations are an eyesore.

FOR instance, at the Mpape Police station located in Abuja, discarded shipping containers have been turned into an operational base, with 93 police personnel managing one patrol vehicle.

SOME police stations have only one operational computer devoid of an internet access, with offices deficient of adequate ventilation.

MANY stations don’t have forensic facilities, vehicles, equipment and other key materials.

DETAINEE boards are absent of information about suspects, because police stations cannot afford to purchase  ordinary chalk.

CONSEQUENTLY, the officers are forced to depend on charity and other unconstitutional means to carry out their duties, and others tout and harass Nigerians on highways as a means of survival.

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BEYOND this, however, it is painful to note that more than half of the operational strength of some stations act as security guards to top government officials and politicians, leaving insufficient numbers to provide security for the larger community.

DUE to the above factors and more, officers cannot meet up with the daunting security challenges in the areas they police, as foot and vehicular patrols, traffic control operations, surveillance and intelligence gathering are not efficiently carried out.

MORE damning is the corruption that has become a cancer worm within the force, with the level of extortion by officers at check points so bewildering, that nothing can be compared to it anywhere in the world.

IN short, the behavior of officers on the nation’s roads gives the impression that they are nonchalant, and their attitude sometimes smacks of gangsterism and day light armed robbery.

Given this background, we feel the increase in salaries for the rank and file of the police is good, as it will improve officers’ morale, giving them incentives to tackle the tough security challenges in the country.

 THE Hope feels a lot of work still need to be done about the salaries of policemen and other facilities so that they can compete favourably with their counterpart in other countries of the world.

SADLY, we feel also that the increase in salaries cannot stop corruption in the force, because the ‘return culture’ ingrained in the institution fosters a tradition that encourages senior officers to live on ‘handouts’ from junior officers.

THE fallout is that senior officers live large on ill-gotten money, so they continue to perpetuate a system that compromises the security of the country.

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THOUGH corruption is a global phenomenon, but Nigeria policemen should be made accountable when caught in the act.

WE draw reference from South Africa, where policemen caught misbehaving are made to face corruption charges, and dealt with accordingly if found guilty.

FURTHERMORE, we feel it is unacceptable that police formations suffer from lack of equipment, vehicles, internet facilities, uniforms and other operational equipment.

THE budgetary provision for the police should be looked into and properly monitored to ensure that they are spent to what had been allocated.

THE parasitic culture  of State Commands of the police relying on handout from state governments for financial assistance and bail should stop.

WE are not unaware of the proposed recruitment of an additional 10,000 policemen. To us it is a good development, as it will reduce the pressures from the unpalatable security situation of the country.

WE feel the nation should take a cue from Lagos State,  since the assumption of duties by Mr Edgal Imohimi whose exemplary leadership has reduce criminal level to a tolerable level in Lagos..

WE note that all criminal activities reported to the Lagos Police Command are investigated, so criminals are forced to cut down their level of their nefarious activities, because they know they would pay for their deeds if apprehended.

If the example in Lagos state is replicated throughout the other states in the country, the unacceptable insecurity situation  in the country maybe a thing of the past.

On Increase In Police Emoluments

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