Reps decry underfunding of police, seek quick passage of Police Trust Fund Bill
Members of the committee who condemned the act, said it was high time that the Police Trust Fund Bill currently before the Senate was passed and transmitted for presidential assent.
They spoke on Tuesday when the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, appeared before the committee for the 2019 Budget defence in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Reports that in 2018 fiscal year, N324, 220, 893, 212 billion was budgeted for the police.
NAN reports that on capital budget for the year, N25, 197, 675, 020. 00 billion was appropriated for the security agency while only N5, 019, 767, 502.47 which was 19.92 per cent was released.
However, N365, 239, 320, 000.45 billion was appropriated for the police in the 2019 Budget presented in Nov. 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking, Rep Johnson Agbonayinma said he was disappointed at the way the police was being handled in the area of budget.
“And we expect the police to protect lives and property, we expect them to do everything humanly possible to combat the various security challenges in the country, we expect them to perform miracle.
”Miracle doesn’t just happen. There is nothing like miracle if you don’t work for it,” Agbonayinma said.
He said it was disheartening that in spite of the enormous work of the police, the security outfit battled with insufficient funding.
He called on the Federal Government to do the needful to enhance its performance.
Rep Ezenwa Onyewuchi, who said the police had the sympathy of the parliament because it worked under very excruciating conditions, commended the inspector-general and his officers and urged them to continue to be diligent in the face of the scarce resources.
He said a Police Development Bill which he sponsored some years ago, if passed, would have solved half of the problem of the police.
”Since security is everybody’s business,the private sector should also be encouraged to come into the security sector, “he said.
On his part, Rep Oni Olamide noted that presently the police had three hundred and one thousand personnel and expressed displeasure that the force was being underfunded.
Olamide, who sponsored the Police Trust Fund Bill as part of the efforts to tackle inadequate budgets for the police, lamented that though the House had passed the bill, it was still awaiting the Senate’s passage.
He said if the bill scaled Senate’s screening, and eventually signed into law by President Buhari, it would go a long way in ameliorating the challenges of funding the police.
Corroborating Olamide’s remark, the Chairman, House Committee on Police Affairs, Rep Abubakar Garba, said it was disheartening that the Senate had not concurred the bill.
He promised that members of the committee would liaise with the Senate Committee on Police Affairs to accelerate the quick passage of the bill before the end of the 8th assembly.
Responding, the inspector-general who gave the breakdown of his office budget, thanked the lawmakers for their support toward ensuring a better policing of the country.
According to him, if the police is getting the needed support, most of the security challenges confronting Nigeria today would have been solved.
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