House of Representatives approves N11billion for Police Trust Fund

The joint House of Representatives and Senate Committee on Police Affairs on Tuesday approved N11 billion as capital component of the 2020 Appropriation for Nigerian Police Trust Fund.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Haliru Dauda Fika, while giving update on the budget defence on Tuesday, applauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on the establishment of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund.

Fika said that sometimes in 2019, President Buhari signed the Police Trust Fund bill into law and subsequently the Board was inaugurated, adding that “for about 10 months now they have not started properly.”

According to him, “this is the first budget they brought following the approval of the National Assembly to extend the capital aspect of the budget.”

Also addressing the committee, the minister for Police Affairs, Sen. Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi, disclosed that a new salary scale for the Nigeria Police would soon commence following the submission of the proposal for an upward review.

“In recognition of the take home pay of the police, which necessitated the need to motivate them for better performance, Mr President directed the Salaries and Wages Commission to work out a new salary package for the Nigerian Police and submit it to the government for consideration.

“In keeping with this directive, the Commission in consultation with the relevant stakeholders have submitted a proposal to the government which is being given the desired and urgent attention,” Dingyadi, who led the team to the legislature said.

Dingyadi also said the Ministry is aware of discussions that are ongoing on the need to exit the Police Contributory Pension Scheme, even though he did not make a definite statement on their position on the matter.

He said the year under review started in the midst of challenges such as the effect of ENDSARS protests, and COVID 19, which “inflicted serious social, moral, economic and security setbacks for the police.”

He stated that the situation was further compounded by the myriad of security challenges such as terrorism, armed banditry, kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery and secessionist agitations cutting across all the six geo-political zones of the country.

He said in spite of these challenges the Ministry of Police Affairs had remained focused and extended all necessary requests of support to the Nigeria Police in the fight against this criminality.

Part of the Ministry’s achievements he said, was the implementation of the community policing programme, which saw training and deployment of 25, 000 special constabularies to their local government areas of origin to aid policing.

The Commandant of Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano, AIG Lawan Jimeta, who also appeared before the joint committee lamented the inadequacy of manpower in both the academic and administrative wings of the academy.

“The academy is grossly understaffed as many academic programmes are being run without adequate lecturers. Also the administration and other operations are also in dire need of manpower. Efforts to get employment waivers from the head of service of the federation is yet to yield desired results,” he said.

He said the academy has a cadet strength presently of over 3,300 cadets and they are expected to be provided with qualitative education, conducive accommodation, three meals a day and combat training facilities among others.

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