• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Reps invite Finance Minister, AGF, others over police salary

Reps invite Finance Minister, AGF, others over police salary

The House of Representatives on Tuesday invited Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and Ahmed Idris, Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) to appear before it to explain why the 20 percent salary increase for the Nigeria Police Force is yet to be implemented.

The House also invited Ekpo Nta, chairman of the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission and Ben Akabueze, Director General of the Budget Office in connection with the issue.

Usman Bello-Kumo, chairman, House Committee on Police Affairs extended this invitation at a public hearing on three bills aimed at enhancing the operations of the Nigeria Police Force.

These are; a bill for an Act to amend the Nigeria Police Act 2020 to regulate the powers of the police to promote effective collaboration between police and other security agencies and to provide for the operational framework for community policing in Nigeria; a bill for an Act to amend the Firearms Act Cap F28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 to increase fines, provide for strict prison terms and licensing fees; and a bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the Nigeria Police Intelligence Institute, Share in Kwara State.

Kumo said there was a need to meet with the Ministry and the Agencies to find out why the directive for the upward review of police remuneration by the Federal Government has not been implemented and seek ways of addressing the issue.

He said the government should do more in funding security agencies and stressed the need to exclude the police envelope budget system as well as address the pension issues bedevilling the security outfit.

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The lawmaker said this was necessary to have a Police Force that is motivated to carry out its constitutional duties, especially in the wake of numerous security challenges facing the country and also in view of the fact that the country is headed for an election year.

“It is so pathetic that today in the country hoodlums and criminals are truly about to take over the entire security architecture of this country. It is not news and it is not something that is not in the public domain. The attack on the airport, the attack on our rail. All these are attributed to lack of synergy and intelligence sharing by security agencies,” he said.

In his presentation, Usman Baba-Alkali, Inspector General of Police said the current initiative by the National Assembly to amend the Police Act 2020, the Firearms Act as well as the Bill to enact the establishment of the Nigeria Police Intelligence Institute would deepen police reform and re-position the Force for optimal operational output.

Baba-Alkali, however, regretted that since the inception of the Force, it has never had a training institution with the requisite legal status that can drive the capacity development process of the Force at both the operational and strategic levels.

Represented by Sanusi Lemu, Deputy Inspector General of Police, the Force Boss said policing all over the world is an intelligence driven enterprise.

He lamented that: “although Nigeria Police is recognized as the lead agency in internal security, we are yet to nearly after 180 years of existence have a training institution with the requisite legal status that can drive the capacity development process of the Force at both the operational and strategic levels.

“This is gap is even more impactful considering the current security realities in the country. This informed the establishment of the Police Intelligence Institute, Share. Unfortunately, despite the existence of the physical structures, the institution is yet to commence academic activities due largely to the absence of the requisite legal framework.

“The bill for an Act to establish the Nigeria Police Intelligence Institute is therefore critical to the take off of this initiative as it would give legal backing to the reform agenda of the Police particularly in relation to the entrenchment of the professional culture of intelligence led policing and the development of the capacity of the officers of the Force and other sister agencies.

“The bill also when enacted would professionalize the activities of the institution and give legal recognition to the programmes and certificates of the institute. In essence it should be seen as a further step to the current attempt to reform and re-position the police,” the IGP said.

Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House earlier said the Bills were aimed at empowering and strengthening the Police to address the lingering security challenges and other social vices currently bedeviling the nation.

Gbajabiamila who was represented by Peter Akpatason, Deputy House Leader, said the parliament would do everything within its ambit to pass legislation that would address the security challenges in the country for the benefit of all Nigerians.

The Speaker urged the Nigeria Police to synergise with sister security agencies with a view to tackling the security challenges in the country.