History has it that the Nigerian Police Force, NPF came into being in 1820. Since then it has passed through several stages and years of restructuring, reformation and reorganisation during and after the British Colonial administration in the country.
During the colonial period, most police formations were associated with local governments and called Native Authority, NA Police otherwise called Yan Doka in all parts of the country’s Northern Region.
An amalgamation of the defunct Northern Nigeria Police, NNP and the Southern Nigeria Police, SNP led to the formation of the current Nigeria Police Force, NPF in 1930.
As the leading principal law enforcement agency in the country, NPF is the closest security agency to the grassroots and is statutorily assigned the responsibilities of maintenance of law and order, internal security and protection of lives and property within the shores of the nation, as contained in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Since coming to power in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari has left no one in doubt as to his commitment to safeguarding the lives and property of all Nigerians. Towards this end, he took a number of administrative, policy and monetary decisions towards enhancing the internal as well as external security architecture of the country.
In doing this, PMB gave his approval to increase the number of police men by as much as 10, 000 every year, provide working tools and needs to further improve the remunerations, welfare and wellbeing of its officers and men.
Just last year, the Federal Executive Council, FEC approved a 20% salary increase for the police with effect from January 2022. FEC, presided over by President Buhari also approved an immediate review of police duty tour allowance to six per cent; release of N1.2 billion for payment of uninsured benefits; and N1.2 billion for payment of outstanding allowances for all serving Police men and women.
The approval was conveyed to Nigerians by the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, who had then explained that the approval was in line with PMB’s promise to enhance police personnel pay as demanded by #EndSARS protesters.
PMB also directed that his administration is set to recruit additional 10,000 police officers to boost youth employment and improve the security of the country. This is in addition to establishing a properly trained and equipped Federal Anti-Terrorism Multi-Agency Task Force that will effectively address the challenge of future insurgency in a sustainable manner.
In his address at a one-day national security summit organised by the Nigeria Police Force in Abuja last year, President Buhari noted that the need for community input to policing and crime management in Nigeria has become more imperative now than ever before, considering the current national security challenges in which kidnapping, armed robbery, murder, transnational crimes, terrorism and other organized crimes ravaging all parts of the country are on the rise.
Presently, efforts are being made to enhance the operational capacity of the police through modern, global standardised training and re training programmes that will give them the right civil orientation in their roles as guardians and civil populace defenders of Nigerians as contained in the country’s Constitution.
The President had strategically stressed the importance his government attaches to community policing and vowed to do everything within his powers to encourage States to look at state-level community inter-acting with police under a model that will integrate members of the community to policing functions at the grassroots level. This is commonly called state policing aimed at complementing Federal Government’s efforts to move the agenda of securing the nation to the next level.
The Federal Government through the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, NPTF early this month donated 200 Buffalo branded operational vehicles, bulletproof vests, protective helmets, drugs, and medical equipment to the Nigeria Police Force, NPF to aid policing in the country.
As part of the PMB administration’s on-going reforms of the Nigeria Police Force, the government’s donation of operational vehicles and other security hardware handed over to the Inspector General of Police by Police Affairs Minister, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi in Abuja on behalf of President Buhari, were aimed at boosting the morale of the police to deepen security and safety nationwide.
To further prove his priority to securing the nation as part of his 3-point agenda of securing the nation, improving the economy and taming corruption, PMB has year in, year out since 2016 tremenduosly improved funding to the Nigeria Police Force.
From N324.2 billion in 2018 to N366.13 billion in 2019; N403.45 billion in 2020 and N447.6 billion in 2021, it is glaringly clear that the Nigeria Police Force has been having it so good despite the fact that its funding was still inadequate.
In 2021 alone, N18.45 billion was for overhead expenses, N417.2 billion on personnel expenses, N11.98 billion on capital expenses and N166.7 million for Arms and Ammunition.
So far so good, the NPF and the Nation have never had it so good like its happening under a PMB administration. The boost to internal security, though very challenging, have gotten an un precedented boost by the PMB administration.
Nigerians look forward to better days ahead with improved security in the country beyond 2023, particularly with basic infrastructural foundation put in place in the country’s security architecture by the administration over the years.
EMEKA ANYAOKU STREET