The Senate on Thursday said it is high time the Nigerian Police Force is restructured to enhance effectiveness and end criminality in the Country.
Specifically, the Senate want adequate equipping of Police training institutions and training of personnel of the force.
The demand by the Senate is sequel to a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Police Act and enact the Nigeria Police Bill, 2019 which scales Second reading during plenary.
The bill among other things seeks to provide a framework for the Nigerian Police Service to foster efficiency.
Also, the bill seeks to amend the extant Police Act in respect to appointment, removal and tenure of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP). It sponsored by Senator Senator Haliru Jika.
When finally passed into law, the bill will address the recurrent challenges and deficiencies in structure, appointments, promotions, discipline, postings, trainings, kitting, weaponry, living condition, pension and retirement benefits.
Leading the debate, Jika argued that “the general welfare of our dear gallant officers, within the Nigeria Police Force, have persisted, largely because of the draconian and outdated statutes that guides policing in Nigeria.
He said: “the present Police Act is not only fraught with deficiencies, but strangely, the major organization, duties, and powers of the Nigeria Police Force, as encapsulated in the present Act, have largely remained as set out in the 1943 Police Act.
The general welfare of our dear gallant officers, within the Nigeria Police Force, have persisted, largely because of the draconian and outdated statutes that guides policing in Nigeria.
“It is in recognition of the inherent shortcomings in the extant Police Act and the seemingly intractable challenge of insecurity in our country that has necessitated the proposed repeal of the extant Act and the enactment of a new one in its place, in consonance with the dictates of international best practices and realities of present-day, Nigeria”, Jika said.
Citing a 2019 report by the Global Peace Index (GPI), the lawmaker who Chairs the Committee on Police Affairs said that Nigeria ranks 148th among 163 independent States and territories.
Meanwhile, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has insisted that the National Assembly will no longer tolerate the gruesome killing of Nigerians by criminals threatening the security of the country.
Lawan said: “his bill should consider the restructuring of the command and structure of the Police. The present structure is not working, the Police Trust Fund is already accruing, the last count I was told there was about N52 billion or so, but it is not about throwing money to the Police. You need to adjust the structure, otherwise that money will just be a sinking fund.
“So, we should be in a hurry to recruit, to train and retrain. Equipping the police training institutions is supposed to be one vital aspect of getting our security arrangements right, and this is something that we have to do in a hurry, even if it means going for supplementary budget, so be it.
“The kind of situation we are in, with the lives that are lost on a daily basis is something we cannot tolerate, and in fact, we should be on the right side of history.”
Solomon Ayado, Abuja