No cash for police, IG Baba cry out
The police have no money for its operations despite the serious security situation in the country, Acting Inspector-General of Police Alkali Usman Baba said on Wednesday.
Without funding, yet faced with attacks on its assets and killing of its officers and men in parts of the country, the police have become “Miracle Player” to be able to achieve whatever results they have recorded, Baba said.
He spoke on the poor funding situation of the police at a meeting with House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.
He told the Speaker: “We have not account” to go and dip our hands and do 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.”
He said: “We are requesting that you look more into our predicament. We are really underfunded and there is nothing or less one can do without funds.
“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.”
The Police chief expressed appreciation to the House for supporting the Police Act 2020, saying it would modernise their operations.
He also 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 what 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.”
Gbajabiamila pledged the support of the House, saying the members have never cut funding for the police unless it was absolutely 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 with a view to addressing the situation.
The Speaker said the committee would start sitting within the next few days.
Gbajabiamila complained about 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.
He also complained about the poor appearance of junior policemen on the streets, urging that something be done about it to improve the image of the Force.
He again wondered what was responsible for this. ”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 needs assessment to be able to get funding to address their issues.
He said the country cannot keep crying about the police and not give them the necessary enabling environment to do their job.
”We are expecting hopefully a s upplementary 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,” the Speaker said.