A full-scale investigation by the Senate into alleged N135 billion said to have been injected into the Nigeria Police in the last three years as part of measures to reform the force has commenced.
The amount in question was said to have been pumped into the force between 2011 and 2013 by the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration with a view to repositioning the Police following public outcry over its poor funding in the past.
The Senate, through its committee on Police Affairs has commenced probe of the management of the funds and report back in the shortest possible time.
The Senate action came after heated debate on a motion tagged Reforming the Nigeria Police, brought before it by Senator Abubakar Tutare (PDP, Taraba Central), on the level of funding and implemen-tation of the Nigeria Police Force Reform Programme.
Senator Tutare, who is the Vice Chairman of Senate Committee on Police Affairs, noted that over the years, the Nigeria Police was neglected in terms of offices, residential accommodation, kits, vehicles, arms and communication equipment.
He observed that arising from this development, the Federal Government initiated a Police Reform Programme to provide “all it takes to overhaul the Police and make it more professional, effective and efficient in the discharge of their duties with a take-off grant of N75 billion.”
He said the government followed up with appropriation of N25 billion, N15 billion and N22 billion in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 budgets, respectively.
The Senator regretted that despite the take-off grant and the provision of a total of N57 billion appropriated between 2011 and 2013, “there is still nothing to show that the reform agenda is ongoing in the Nigeria Police Force.”
Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba (PDP, Cross River Central), who spoke earlier in the debate, said beyond poor funding, the Nigeria Police was facing a problem which he referred to as “structural defect,” noting that the situation called for the creation of state Police to ensure effective policing of the country.
“The mentality of the Police is still rooted in our colonial history. No matter how much you bring you are not going to change the Police.
“The idea of a single Police for all the country is inconsistent with a federal system. This motion affords us the opportunity to restructure the Police in line to what is obtainable in federalism.”