The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on Tuesday said that the Nigeria Police Force required N1.13 trillion annually to effectively execute its operations.
Mr. Idris said this at a Public hearing on a Bill to establish the Police Reform Trust Fund and a Bill to amend the Explosives Act 2004 in Abuja.
The hearing was organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs.
He explained that the amount excluded major capital projects such as arms and ammunition, purchase of new vehicles, gunboats, helicopters and other equipment.
Mr. Idris said that the N560 billion recommended by the MD Yusuf-led Police Reform Committee in 2008 was a far cry from the current amount required.
“To fully appreciate the funding challenges of the Nigeria Police Force, it will be appropriate to compare the MD Yusuf financial estimates of 2008,” he said.
He explained that the force required an average of N26.9 billion annually for the maintenance and fuelling of its vehicles.
“Presently, the force has a fleet of 14, 306 vehicles including 3,115 motorcycles nationwide,” he said.
The police boss also said that N14.5 billion would be required annually for uniforms and kits for personnel of the force.
Mr. Idris noted that the regular source of funding for the police through budgetary allocation had failed to address the financial needs of the force to provide security for the nation.
He said that if the bill was passed into law, it would largely address the funding challenges of the police.
“The bill will provide alternative source of funding for the Nigeria Police Force for the training and retraining of personnel,” he said.
He said that the police required over N200 billion to install cameras, establish data base in all police stations across the country.
“To effectively investigate and prosecute offenders, we must invest massively in the detective infrastructure and capacity of our investigators,” he said.
Mr. Idris said this would enhance the investigation and prosecutorial capacity of the police.
He observed that restricting the trust fund to a period of six years would not be in the best interested of the force and public.
“The fund once established should be sustained in the interest of national security and not be time bound.
“The purpose of the fund is to provide alternative funding for the police, but if it is subjected to too many bottlenecks, the objective will be defeated,” he said.
On the explosives bill, Mr. Idris said that it would curb the illegal storage and use of explosives in the country.
He noted that the current Act was outdated and did not address the present security challenges facing the country.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara said adequate funding was critical for the police to function effectively.
Mr. Dogara was represented by the House Minority leader, Leo Ogor, PDP-Delta.
He said that inadequate funding of the police had exposed it to criticisms by Nigerians.
He said that the passage of the bill and its signing into law would provide first-line charge for the police to carry out its operations.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Police Affairs, Dauda Jika (APC- Bauchi), said that the hearing was aimed at giving stakeholders the opportunity to make inputs into the bills.
He said that if passed into law, the fund would afford individuals and groups to contribute to the funding of the police.
“Funding the police adequately will boost its morale and efficiency,” he said.
Mr. Jika said that the bill would also enhance the operations of the police and make them not to be partisan during elections in the country.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, called for a 10-year jail term for anyone who misappropriated the fund.
“Any person found guilty of misappropriating the fund should go for at least 10 years imprisonment,” Mr. Olonisakin, who was represented by AVM Ibrahim Shafi, said.
A former commissioner of police, Fidelis Oyakhilome, who spoke on behalf of retired officers, called for constant training and restraining of police personnel for efficient performance.
He said that the proliferation of security organisations in the country was unacceptable when the police was not adequately funded.
Other stakeholders who made presentations at the hearing are: NLC, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and traditional rulers, among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the bill seeks to provide alternative funding for the police.
NAN also reports that the bill to amend the explosives Act seeks to provide stiffer penalties for defaulters of the law regulating explosives in the country.