By Shola Oyeyipo
Abuja — The acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Abubakar Mohammed Adamu, has lamented the underfunding of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), saying it is the main malady confronting the force.
Adamu, who made the disclosure yesterday while defending the 2018 police budget before the Hon. Lawal Abubakar-led Committee on Police Affairs, urged the lawmakers to expedite action on the Police Reform Trust Fund Bill pending before the National Assembly as a way to bridge the funding gap.
While he underscored the fact that the primacy of the Nigeria Police as the lead agency in internal security matters is being challenged by inadequate funding, Adamu who reinstated that he is committed to restoring the dwindling primacy of the police within the internal security architecture of Nigeria, stated that the desire required the support and understanding of all stakeholders especially members of this House of Representatives.
According to him, “It has been realised that the quantum of funds required to address the operational and administrative needs of the force can hardly be met through normal annual appropriation. In this regard, therefore, the long awaited Police Reform Trust Fund Bill pending before the Notional Assembly is aimed at bridging the gap. I therefore urge the 8′” National Assembly, to as a matter of urgency, consider and pass into low the Police Reform Trust Fund Bill.
He stated that out of the N324,220,893,212 appropriated for the Police, N25,197,675,020 was appropriated for Capital projects, but only N5,019, 767,502. 47 representing 19.92 percent has been released and cash-backed as at today while the balance of The N20,177,907,517.53 is yet to be released. The amount released and cash-backed to date has been utilised for the payment of completed and on-going projects.
Also, N8,917,942,925.37 was released out of the N10, 301,772.177 appropriated for overhead while N288,721, 446,064 was appropriated for the payment emolument, including statutory deductions such as funding for Compulsory Pension Scheme and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
“I wish to crave your support and cooperation in the task of repositioning the police to be able to carry out its statutory responsibilities of maintaining law and order amongst others. Your commitment at this point in time is very vital and I believe that there will be light at the end of the tunnel.”
He assured Nigerians that “The Nigeria Police is blessed with officers and men who are not only intellectually gifted and exceptionally dedicated but professionally sound enough to surmount the security challenges facing the nation.
He stressed that “these personnel require appropriate level of funding to be equipped with the necessary resources to carry out their responsibilities.”
In another development, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, announced 11.6 per cent budget performance, a development condemned by the Committee Chairman, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha and other members of the committee.
The minister told the lawmakers that although N26.9 billion was appropriated for capital projects by the ministry in the 2018 budget, a paltry N3.1 billion, which represents 11.6 per cent, were released.
According to him, “The sum of N2,998, 641,889.62 representing 96 percent has so far been expended as at March 15.