Nigeria not ripe for state police, says IG

Nigeria not ripe for state police, says IG

Speaking at a meeting with governors in Abuja on Thursday, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, asked those agitating for state police to consider the “political maturity” of Nigeria, adding that the federal police system is the best for the country.

This address was sequel to the decision of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to set up a six-man committee to look into the possibility of having state police.

“Those agitating for state police should consider the level of our political maturity.

“I sincerely believe that the federal police is still the best for the country and with improved funding, the challenges of crime will be addressed,” Jimoh Moshood, police spokesman, quoted him as saying.

He appealed to the government to improve funding for the force and also appealed to the governors to support the passage of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Bill which is before the National Assembly.

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On the bill, he said, “Let me use this opportunity to appeal to your Excellencies to prevail on your representatives at the National Assembly to ensure the passage of the bill.

“It is my sincere belief that once the police trust fund bill is passed into law, the necessary finances required to effectively police the nation will be available.”

Idris added that this would also reduce the pressure on the state governments in the funding of the police.

He said police officers in the country were one of the least paid security organisations in the world in spite of operating under the UN ratio of 1:400.

He explained that with the current ratio of 1:602, the Nigeria Police was operating far below the United Nation’s ratio.

“About 10,000 police officers have been recruited recently to fill the gap but this is still a far cry,” he said.

“To meet up with the UN ratio of 1:400, the Nigeria Police requires additional 155,000 police officers for the next five years.”

He said a request to recruit 31,000 policemen had been sent to President Muhammadu Buhari for approval, noting that the current police management was making efforts to establish structures that would bridge the communication gap between the police and members of the public.

He said that one of such structures is the establishment of the Nigeria Police Broadcasting Service (NPBS).

“When commissioned, it will broadcast Nationwide on TV, Radio, online and the National Emergency Communication Command Control Centre (NEC4),” he said.

Assuring Idris of support, Abdul’Aziz Yari, Governor of Zamfara, said security was everybody’s business.

Recall that a public hearing on the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Bill, a bill that seeks to provide alternative funding for the police, was held by the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs on July 1.

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Chidi Chinedu

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