President Goodluck Jonathan has said the Federal Government will spend N1.5 trillion in the next five years to reform the police.
The President spoke yesterday in Makurdi, Benue State, at a two-day retreat on: Sustaining Nigeria PoliceReforms.
The event was organised by the Police Service Commission (PSC), in conjunction with the Benue State government.
Represented by Sen. Bala Mohammed, minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr Jonathan said the government was committed to building the capacity of the police.
The President said 60 per cent of the money would be provided by the Federal Government while the balance would come from the private sector, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
He assured that the Federal Government was committed to equipping the police.
The President urged the PSC to build a police force that would be committed to the security of Nigerians.
He said the government accepted the recommendations of Anambra State Governor Peter Obi’s Committee on the Police Reform and would soon issue a White Paper on it.
Dr Jonathan urged the participants to contribute meaningfully to the topics, adding that the recommendations of the retreat might help the government to tackle insurgency.
Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam said the police should be accountable to elected representatives of the people.
Suswam noted that by being accountable, the police would consult well with the people’s representatives to reflect their views on police reforms.
He advised the police to redouble efforts in providing security to the people, especially as the country was drawing closer to elections.
Suswam condemned agitation for state police, saying Nigeria was not ripe enough to have state police.
PSC Chairman Mike Okiro called for a national policy on policing to ensure continuity of policies in the force.
Okiro, a former inspector-general of Police (IGP), decried the non-implementation of police reform committees.
He said most of the committees echoed the need for police restructuring, training and retraining.
The PSC chairman also spoke on the need to review the training curricula, upgrading of training institutions and increased funding.
He said the effect of the identified lapses was declining morale of officers.
Okiro noted that for reforms to be effective, “they must bring about a change or improvement in the status quo by correcting perceived faults, removing inconsistencies and abuses.”
He regretted that even the Parry Osayinde’s recommendations, which the government accepted, had not been implemented.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar said the police management had aligned its policies with the recommendations of previous reform committees to strengthen the police for effective service delivery.
He urged the PSC to approve the decentralisation of the powers to promote and sanction officers.