The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Usman Baba, has decried the poor funding of the Police Force, saying the institution has no money to fund its operations despite the serious security situation in the country.
Speaking at a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Wednesday, Baba said inclusive to the lack of the necessary funding, the police still faced attacks on its assets, while its officers were being killed in every part of the country.
He said the police had become a “miracle player” for haven achieved results and recorded successes, noting that the police have problems with meeting emergencies.
He said: “We have no account where we can go and dip our hands and do a quick deployment in terms of mitigation or even proactively stopping what is to come. Sincerely speaking, year-in, year-out, besides what we have as allocations, we have problems meeting emergencies.
“Normally, operations should have a fund that you can quickly deploy to areas whether it is a natural or man-made crisis. The police do not have that at all. We always rely on our budgetary allocations which are not enough.
”I agree that one may not get completely what he wants even in his house. We are managing what we have. The most essential thing I want to plead is for the House of Representatives to look into the areas of funds for our operations.”
Also, Baba expressed appreciation to the House for supporting the Police Act 2020, saying it would modernise their operations, however, he called for the quick passage of the Police Service Commission and the National Institute for Police Training bills.
“As the lead agency, we want to perform better than we are doing. And with your cooperation and assistance, definitely, the police would work more and do more to ensure that the confidence of people is restored,” he added.
In his remarks, Gbajabiamila pledged the support of the House, saying the members do not cut funding for the police unless it was necessary.
”What I am saying is that I believe that we do provide these things, but as it trickles down, where the problem is what we need to resolve so that even the policemen we are trying to protect can feel good about themselves and about what they do,” he said.
He said the House was concerned about the rising insecurity in the country and had responded to it by setting up a special committee to interface with the Executive Arm to address the situation.
The Speaker complained of the attitude of some policemen, especially the junior ones, wondering if it was due to lack of adequate training or lack of understanding of their constitutional role.
Also, Gbajabiamila decried the poor appearance of junior policemen on the streets, urging that something should be done about it to improve the image of the Force.
“The question is whose fault is that? Why do they look the way they look? Is it their fault or the fault of those who are higher up the ladder,” he queried.
The Speaker urged the IGP to do a need assessment to be able to get the necessary funding to address their issues.
“We are expecting hopefully a supplementary budget that would be pinned on two areas, COVID-19 and security. I want you to liaise very well with the Executive before the budget comes to us so we know how the police can be accommodated if not in the supplementary budget at least the next budget,” he added.