A former Inspector-General of Police, Musiliu Smith, on Wednesday, said that the Nigerian police will be motivated to do better if they are adequately funded.
Smith disclosed to the Senate that the rot in the Police Force had got to a head as serving policemen now accept gifts of houses from criminals and drug bandits as bribes.
The chairman, Police Service Commission, disclosed this during a public hearing on a ‘Bill for an Act to repeal the Police Act CaP P19 Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and enact the Police Act, 2018’, which held at the National Assembly complex.
Smith, also opposed plans by the Senate to remove the ‘Force’ in the name of the organisation and retain only Nigeria Police.
He averred that since what is contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is “Nigeria Police Force”, and not Nigeria Police, it had become imperative for the National Assembly to first amend the Constitution before reflecting it in the bill, else, the name should be allowed as captured in the Constitution.
He canvassed for better funding of the Police, stressing that the annual budgetary provisions for the Force was usually grossly inadequate, and would never allow the agency to carry out its duties diligently.
In his words, “I have few observations. One is the name from Nigeria Police Force to Nigeria Police. If the name has to be changed, it has to be done constitutionally. We met a police when all the training schools were working. We met a police where you could not be promoted without writing an examination.
“We met a police where every policeman lived in the barracks. Some policemen are given houses by criminals and hard drug bandits. That need to change. We should think of additional funding source for the police.
“In Lagos State, a governor came into office. He didn’t like what he met on ground. He invited some of us to change what was on ground. That was what gave birth to Lagos State Police Trust Fund. We can’t tackle insecurity without this. Let us think of that. The annual yearly budget ritual can’t help. It will not take us anywhere. If you want a highly motivated Police Force, we should adequately fund it”.
The hearing which was attended by the topmost echelon of the Police formation and other relevant institutions of government and individuals, was conducted by the Senate Committee on Police Affairs.