States to contribute 1% of allocations to fund Nigerian Police

State governors and commissioners attended the NEC meeting.

The National Economic Council, NEC, has approved a recommendation that one per cent of monthly allocations meant for states be deducted and used to fund the Nigerian Police Force.

The deducted fund, which is an addition to the regular police allocation, will be exclusively used to fund the police in the respective state.

This was disclosed by the Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, while briefing journalists after the NEC meeting. Mr. Obi, as Chairman of the Nigeria Reform Police Interim Implementation Committee, had earlier presented the Council with a memorandum on the funding of the Police Reform Programme.

“The money will be domiciled and used in the state where it is deducted and this is an extra from what the state will contribute to the funding of police,” he said.

The Committee had recommended the pruning down of the initial overall cost estimate of the reform from N2.8 trillion to N 1.5 trillion, as well as the extension of the reform period from five to six years. The reforms are to ensure the government’s commitment to the transformation of the Nigerian Police for effective service delivery.

The memo had also recommended a joint funding of the revised cost of N1.5 trillion with 60 per cent coming from the three tiers of government while the Organised Private Sector and international development partners contribute 40 per cent.

The Council welcomed the proposals and also threw its weight behind the recommendations for a statutory funding of the Police Reform Programme in line with the provisions of the constitution.

The modalities for the deduction would be worked out.

NEC also extensively discussed the persisting problem of crude oil theft and the negative impact it is having on the revenue from the sector. The Council noted that though efforts were being made by the government to combat the scourge, there was a need for enhanced collaboration among the affected states, security agencies, and the federal government to address all administrative hurdles towards combating the menace.

The council, therefore, set up a committee to holistically assess the challenge and draw up a roadmap to guide further actions that would be taken by NEC towards finding a lasting solution to the problem. Members of the committee, which is to report back to the Council at it’s next meeting, include the governors of Delta (Chair), Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Edo and Ondo states; as well as some ministers.

Following a memo submitted by the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Education Minister, Ruqayyatu Rufai, on how to address the challenge of the high number of out-of-school children in the country, the NEC said it would put in place at state levels efficient implementation machinery to take advantage of aid from the Nigerian business community, UN Education First initiative and the Global Business coalition on Education.

The memo identified various areas needing support including construction and rehabilitation of schools, as well as provision of teaching-learning-support materials. The council said it will come up with an action plan to outline strategies to improve and meet the MDGs by 2015, and support adults and youth in developing Small and Medium Enterprises.

The Council further directed the Education Minister and the state commissioners for education to jointly work out broad guidelines on the implementation of the recommendations.

The NEC meeting was attended by state governors, ministers, state commissioners of education, and finance, and presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo.

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