Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Presidential Committee Recommends Scraping of Police Ministry, Merger of Agencies

The Presidential Committee on the Re-organisation of the Nigeria Police has recommended the scrapping of the Ministry of Police Affairs and merging of parallel organisations carved out of the Force.

Retired DIG Parry Osayande, the Chairman of the Committee, disclosed this yesterday after submitting the committee's report to President Goodlcuk Jonathan at the State House.

In his speech at the presentation of the report, Osayande said the committee observed that the ministry had no particular role assigned to it in the 1999 Constitution.

He said the ministry was neither in charge of operations and appointments nor discipline and promotion of police personnel, "yet, the budgeted funds are unjustly domiciled with it".

"The Ministry determines Police projects and awards its contracts, including organising and running training programmes involving billions of naira with no input from the Police who are the end users.

"The result is that some of the projects being executed are not of priority to the Police," Osayande said.

Osayande said the committee was opposed to the creation of state police but recommended that the Nigeria Police Council, to which all state governors are members, should be made fully operational.

"The Committee recommended that the Police be empowered to determine its priorities, draw its budget based on its needs and be held accountable for the use of funds disbursed to it.

Osayande said the committee also noted that the carving out of integral units of the Police as autonomous entities was an aberration and a violation of Section 214 of the 1999 Constitution, which provides that there should be only one Police Force for the country.

He noted that successive governments had been decimating the Police by tinkering with its structure in the guise of responding to its failures and inadequacies.

He said that the intelligence arm of the Police was carved out to create the State Security Services (SSS), while the Highway Patrol of the Force was also carved out to create the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC).

Other agencies identified in the category are ICPC and EFCC carved out from the Criminal Investigation Departments (CID) of the Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Osayande said the committee noted that the staff members of the parallel organisations carved out of the Police were better remunerated and motivated than their Police counterparts.

"While the IGP earns N711,498 per month, the DG, SSS earns N1.336 million per month and the Executive Chairman of EFCC earns N1.5 million per month.

"This disparity in salary does not reflect the higher responsibility attached to the Office of the IGP," he said.

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