As part of the demands of #EndSARS protesters, the federal government has directed the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission to act on a new salary structure for police officers in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2019 approved a new salary structure for the law enforcement agents but it is yet to be implemented.
The improvement in the welfare of police personnel is one of the five demands of #EndSARS protesters advocating against police brutality and the disbandment of the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
While poor renumeration cannot be cited as the reason for misconduct, this paper had reported how the meagre salaries of the personnel affect the discharge of their duties.
Tens of thousands of officers of the Nigerian police receive some of the poorest pay even in the West African sub-region, PREMIUM TIMES findings revealed.
Days after the nationwide demonstrations started, the federal government dissolved the SARS and replaced it with the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) squad.
Before the protest was hijacked by hoodlums and ended abruptly, the government had restated its commitment to meeting all the demands of the protesters.
Judicial panels of inquiry have been set up in many states to look into the cases of rights violations for the purpose of justice and compensation for victims.
However, in the updated version of government’s effort to reform the police force contained in a flyer posted by the ministry of information, the federal government said it is working on the welfare of the officers.
“Welfare of Police Personnel: The National Salaries Income and Wages Commission has been directed to
expedite action on the finalization of the new salary structure of members of the Nigeria Police Force.”
Also, it was stated that the National Economic Council (NEC) recently made some decisions in tandem with the demands of the protesters.
Governors and the FCT Minister were instructed to take charge of interface and contact with the protesters in their respective domains and establish State-based Special Security and Human Rights Committees.
This will ensure the protection of citizens’ human rights, the federal ministry posited.
Members of the committees will include representatives of youth and civil society, as well as the head of police tactical units in each of the states.
“Complaints Team of between 2 to 3 persons to receive complaints on an ongoing basis. That team would be established by the Special Committee on Security and Human Rights – State Governors to immediately establish a Victims Fund to enable the payment of monetary compensation to deserving victims,” the ministry said.
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