A total sum of N1.5 trillion will be spent over the next six years, to transform the Nigeria Police Force for effective service delivery in consonance with the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government.
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan made this disclosure today in Makurdi, Benue State, as he declared open the 2014 Police Service Commission Retreat.
The President, who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, revealed that 60 percent of the funding will come from government sources, while the Organized Private Sector and other development partners will contribute 40 percent.
Jonathan further disclosed that the National Economic Council has approved that 1 percent of the monthly allocations meant for States be deducted and used to fund the Nigeria Police reforms.
He said, “The statutory funding of the Police Reform Programme is in line with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
He reiterated his recent statement at the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano State that the government is committed to ensuring the continued improvement of the quality, capacity and numerical strength available to the Force and other security agencies.
Jonathan stressed that the Nigeria Police Force must be repositioned to deliver on its mandate, as the lead agency in the maintenance of internal security.
He described the theme of the Retreat, “Sustaining Nigeria Police Reforms,” as apt, as it will discuss such issues as Inter-Agency Collaboration; Police Partnership as well as the Impact of Police Reform in the Administration of Justice.
“These are important topics which, if well treated, at this Retreat will provide a framework for better and enhanced national security,” Dr. Jonathan stressed.
The President urged participants to pay special attention to the papers to be presented by experts with the understanding of the security challenges facing the nation and the role of a well-motivated Police Force in effectively combating them.
According to him, “Government considers it a sacred and important duty to guarantee the security and welfare of our people as well as protect the sovereignty of our country. The Police have an important role to play in this respect.”
Jonathan emphasized that the Police Reform Programme is intended to adequately equip the Force for this role, as the Government will not tolerate excuses for failure.
In his welcome address, the Acting Governor of Benue State, Steven Lawani, stated that Benue State does not support the establishment of State Police in the country, as it believes the time is not ripe.
He however called on the Nigeria Police Force to redouble its efforts in stemming criminal activities, noting in particular that political activities will soon peak in preparation for the 2015 general elections.
On his part, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, called for delegated powers to the Police Commissioners and the Assistant Inspectors General of Police to promote deserving relevant officers in line with their powers to discipline.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr. Mike Okiro, said that the outcome of the Retreat would form the basis for the Blueprint of the present Administration for the Police Service Commission.
Mr. Jonathan’s police plans were this afternoon in Abuja strongly criticized by observers. One of them told SaharaReporters that it is in line with Jonathan’s penchant for making promises he knows he will not be able to implement.
“He has held the presidency since 2010,” the analyst said. “Why is he announcing a six-year plan that he knows he may well not be in office to implement.