Nigeria: Police Need N10 Billion to Rebuild Burnt Stations, Barracks in Lagos

26 October 2020

With the destruction of 25 police stations, 20 patrol vehicles, three barracks and communication gadgets, the Lagos State Police Command, will require at least N10 billion to replace the facilities lost to the #EndSARS protests in the state, THISDAY's investigation has shown.

According to the state police command, the 25 stations burnt in the state are: Orile, Amukoko, Layeni, Ilasamaja, Ikotun, Ajah, Igando, Elemoro, Makinde, Onipanu, Ebute Ero, Pen Cinema, Isokoko, Alade, Cele, Igbo Elerin, Shibiri, Gbagada, Onilekere, Makoko, Daleko, Asahun, Makinyo, Amuwo-Odofin and Anti-Kidnapping unit at Surulere.

Other police stations that were vandalised but not burnt were Ojo, Ojodu, Mowo, PPL and Morogbo.

Other losses incurred by the police were burnt case files, computer sets, personal and vehicle exhibits, personal cars and uniforms of policemen and most importantly, weapons looted from the armoury.

The command has, however, recovered 18 rifles carted away by hoodlums while more are still missing.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, after a rough assessment of destroyed property in the state, had said it would cost over N1 trillion to rebuild public and private property destroyed by hoodlums in Lagos.

However, THISDAY's investigations revealed that it would cost about N300 million to rebuild one burnt police station to the standard of Orile Police Division, which was built according to Department for International Development (DFID) standards.

This figure is different for the cost of rebuilding the burnt barracks and buying new patrol vehicles.

THISDAY checks revealed that a police station built with DFID standards, like the Orile Police Division before it was burnt down, must contain an investigation room, conference room, offices-cum-rooms for the divisional police officer, divisional crime officer and station officer and other principal staff officers with inbuilt convenience and air conditioners.

THISDAY gathered that the communication/control room also must be top-notch, with airy cells for male and female, as well as a standard convenience.

Also, the investigation room is a necessity for any modern station.

For a police station built to UN standard, the police station has to be a storey-building to accommodate all the aforementioned offices and rooms, unlike what is obtainable across the state where police stations occupy decrepit bungalows.

A police officer, who gave a breakdown of the cost, told THISDAY that to rebuild a modern police station, there should be comfort and accessibility in line with global standards.

According to the officer: "In the standard investigative room, the funding must cover the cost for work stations for the Investigative Police Officers (IPO), a CCTV to monitor and record interrogations (this prevents the IPO from using force to extract confessions), tracking machines, integrated fingerprint database (for criminal profiling and fingerprint data), profiling filed and stationery.

"The communication/control room is another cost-intensive part of equipping the modern police station. The cost was pegged at N10 million per station.

"Between the personal walkie-talkie and the radio set in the cars that cost N75, 000 and N250,000 per unit, respectively, other equipment needed to fit the control room are the computer sets, internet facilities and stationery, among others.

"With 25 police stations burnt across the state and rebuilding to UN standard pegged at N300 million each, this means a total of N7.5 billion would be expended."

However, for the police patrol vehicles that were burnt, the cost of a new one is pegged between N10 million and N15 million, that means the total cost of replacing all 20 vehicles that were burnt will cost the government about N300 million.

Two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) belonging to the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) were destroyed by the rampaging hoodlums.

THISDAY checks revealed that the cost of replacing the two APCs is about N140 million, at N70million each.

For the three barracks in Mafoluku, Makinde and Ojodu (where shops were also burnt), each accommodates about 100 homes, the cost of rebuilding was pegged at N400 million each.

In the armoury, the hoodlums made away with an unknown number of AK47 guns and pistols, from each of the police stations they visited.

At the local parallel market price, THISDAY gathered that one can acquire an AK-47 for N150, 000 depending on the type, while a pistol will cost between N70, 000 and N100, 000.

Although the police are yet to come up with a total number of weapons that were stolen, THISDAY learnt that about 18 have been recovered across the state.

Noting how dangerous it will be for such weapons to be in the hands of the wrong people, especially with the upcoming Yuletide, a senior police officer, who spoke on anonymity, said Lagos residents should be on the alert.

He said following the stand-down order by the police hierarchy, policemen were demotivated and might be reluctant to combat the looming anarchy.

The officer said it was demoralising when the good ones were punished alongside the bad eggs in the force.

He said: "To be honest, you need to feel the pulse of the police, especially the lower cadre, they are bitter and feel humiliated that they ran in the face of danger on the orders of their superiors.

"Although we have started recovering some of our arms, the problem is that we can't account for what was stolen. We are still taking inventory to know what was taken from each division."

Meanwhile, though the police in Lagos are yet to put a figure to the number of deceased officers, it was gathered that over 40 of them are currently in different hospitals, with some critically injured.

Out of the 40 injured officers, 19 of them were RRS officers and as reported by THISDAY earlier, they were on their way to relieve their colleagues who did the night shift when they were attacked.

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