The Presidential Committee on the Re-organisation of the Nigeria Police Force has warned against the establishment of State Police in the country, even as it suggested that the Ministry of Police Affairs should be scrapped because of its irrelevance.
Former Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Parry Osayande, who is the Chairman of the Committee, spoke to journalists at the State House Abuja, after submitting its report to President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday.
Osayande said a stronger and a more efficient National Police Council with effective participation of state governors, financial autonomy and better professionalism for the police would replace the demands for state police.
He noted that the state governments would not be able to fund the state police, adding that such a move may lead to the eventual break up of Nigeria. He, instead, advocated a funding of the police by all three tiers of government.
“State police? It is irrelevant. They cannot afford [it]. Do you know how much it is to police a country? What we are recommending is that they allow the Police Council to function,” he said.
“The President is the chairman, the chairman of Police Service Commission is a member, ?governors are members, the IGP is a member, and (governors) will bring their policing plan to the council. They will now decide on what to do. We don’t need state police; the country will break up, take it from me.”
Osayande further explained that “the Constitution provides a trilateral arrangement for organisation and administration of the Nigeria Police Council, the Police Service Commission and the Inspector-General of Police.
“However, it is a known fact that the Nigeria Police Council is inactive as it hardly meets, and hence does not fulfil its constitutionally assigned role of administering, organising and generally supervising the Nigeria Police,” he said.
On funding, the committee report noted that since policing is a capital intensive venture, it cannot be satisfactorily funded through mere federal budgetary allocation.
“The committee thus supports the recommendation of the M.D. Yusuf 2008 committee… that Police should henceforth be jointly funded by the three-tiers of government,” the report read.
Recommending that the police be empowered to determine its priorities, draw its budget based on its needs and be held accountable for the use of such funds, the committee added that the “envelope system” of budgeting for the police, whereby the ministry of Finance provides a budget template, encourages corruption since “rather than allow the policing plan to influence the budget, the budget influences the policing plan.”
The committee further recommended that “the fiscal and financial responsibility and accountability of resources of the Nigeria police should be vested in the Inspector-General of Police who is the operational head of the police.
“The Inspector-General of Police should exercise this authority through prudent budgeting (using activity-based costing), and input from all the different Police Commands and Formations with the aim of achieving a decentralisation of police resources,” the report provided.
“He should present the financial statements; annual budget; his policing plan; and the report of the activities of the Police to the Nigeria Police Council which would take ownership of the budget, while the Inspector-General defends it at the National Assembly.
“One of the benefits of this is that State Governors who would have had the benefit of a first-hand knowledge of the budget and the report of the activities of the police, would be encouraged to contribute to the funding of the Nigeria Police force.”
The committee’s report stressed that “the ministry of Police Affairs has no particular assigned role in the 1999 Constitution as amended, being neither in charge of Police administration which is assigned to the Police Council, nor in charge of operations which is assigned to the Inspector-General of Police nor in charge of appointment, discipline and promotion which is assigned to the Police Service Commission.
The ministry, the committee said, determines police projects and awards its contracts, including organising and running training programmes involving billions of Naira with no input from the Police who are the end users.
“The result is that some of the projects being executed are not priorities to the Police. This is an aberration which has led to abuse, misapplication and haemorrhage of the limited resources made available to the police.”
The committee also lamented that neglect of the supervisory responsibilities of the management teams of the Police at various levels has made the Force which “should have the purest of human beings” to now harbour officers with corrupt tendencies and bad disciplinary records, who, along with officers with physical and mental disabilities as well as fraudulent educational qualifications, should be flushed out.
The report did not fail to point out the disparity in the remuneration of policemen against the officers of sister organisations carved out of the Police.
“For instance, while the Inspector General of Police earns N711,498 per month, the Director-General, State Security Service earns N 1.336 million per month and the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission earns N1.5 million per month,” it noted.
“This disparity in salary does not reflective higher responsibility attached to the Office of the Inspector-General of Police.”
Rather than just the basic training for members of the force, Osayande recommended that there should be continuous training so as to ensure professionalism like in ?patrol, crime detection, administration and training.
Osayande, however, added that: “There has to be an implementation framework. Every time you will hear government has set up a committee, we will write beautiful report but is never implemented. This time around Mr. President said they will set up a committee made up of eminent Nigerians, including some of the people who wrote this report, so as to guide them and see each recommendation to the end, at the end of which you will find new police organisation.”